Appellate Justice Eugene M. Fahey of Buffalo, one of Western New York’s best known judicial figures, has been nominated for an upcoming vacancy on the Court of Appeals – the state’s highest court.
The state Commission on Judicial Nomination, the panel charged with recommending qualified candidates to the governor, Saturday announced Fahey’s inclusion on a list of seven candidates to fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Senior Associate Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick at the end of this year.
By law, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo must make his appointment from among the seven recommended candidates between Jan. 1 and Jan. 15. The State Senate then has 30 days after the governor’s nomination to confirm or reject his choice.
Fahey is the only candidate on the list from Western New York, and if nominated and confirmed, would join Judge Eugene F. Pigott Jr. of Grand Island on the high court.
Judith S. Kaye, former chief judge of the Court of Appeals and chairwoman of the commission, said the process produced 75 applications of “extraordinary quality and diverse backgrounds.”
“That so many wonderfully qualified candidates were motivated to apply demonstrates the remarkable strength and depth of the legal profession in the State of New York,” she said.
Fahey, 61, who is a Democrat, served for many years on the Buffalo Common Council. After unsuccessfully competing in the 1993 Democratic primary for mayor, losing to Anthony M. Masiello, he was elected to Buffalo City Court in 1994 and to State Supreme Court in 1996. He has served at the Rochester-based Appellate Division since 2006 after his appointment by then-Gov. George E. Pataki, a Republican.
He is a graduate of the University at Buffalo and its law school.