web analytics
July 29, 2015 / 13 Av, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Diversity Includes Orthodox Jews, Too

Despite the fact that over the past decade Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community has been one of New York City’s fastest growing populations, not even one Orthodox Jew has appeared during that time on the ballot for the New York State Supreme Court bench in Brooklyn.

We strongly believe it is time for that to change. First, some background.

One of the more popular mantras in the world of social theory is that the pool of those who make authoritative governmental decisions should reflect the diversity of the population. Decision-making informed by differences in race, color, creed and gender – sexual orientation was recently added to the list – has been viewed for some time now as a cornerstone of a just society.

(To be sure, many political leaders have often covertly controlled the selection process, seeing to it that people who resembled themselves found their way into government jobs – either directly or via tradeoffs with other leaders from different groups.)

For much of American history, judges were not commonly thought of in terms of any approach to diversity in government. After all, judges were supposed to simply apply the law according to the meaning of the statutory language. But it is now widely understood that judges do not operate in a vacuum and in fact draw on their own backgrounds and experiences in their work, not only when it comes to sentencing in criminal cases but also when parsing the very words of a law.

In addition, judges are called on to assess the bona fides of litigants’ requests as to religious requirements in terms of scheduling trials and other proceedings, or their explanations of why they may have been unable to fulfill a contractual commitment on a certain day. And judges are required to determine whether there have been willful violations of court orders and whether individuals are in contempt of court. Issues such as wearing a yarmulke or other religious garb in court are sometimes involved.

It is not widely understood that while judges are in strict control of the matters before them, they do interact with each other on general topics and Orthodox Jewish judges are able to fill in gaps in the experiences of their colleagues.

The judicial selection process in New York State at the Supreme Court level is not well known but it is crucial. In fact, the individuals who will run in the general elections in November are chosen at nominating conventions, held shortly after the regular primary elections, from a list of names submitted by local party district leaders under the leadership of the county leader. These candidates then run in the general election.

So, the key to this process are the actions of district leaders and the county leader. Moreover, given the overwhelming numerical superiority of Democrats over Republicans in places like Brooklyn, being chosen at a Democratic nominating convention is virtually tantamount to election.

In short, we call on the political leaders of the Democratic Party in Brooklyn on both the district and county levels to remedy the relative scarcity of Orthodox Jewish judges on the Supreme Court bench in Brooklyn.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Diversity Includes Orthodox Jews, Too”

  1. Charlie Hall says:

    I think Hon. David Schmidt, Hon. Esther Morgenstern, and Hon. Eric Prus are all Orthodox elected Supreme Court judges in Brooklyn currently serving. Hon. Mark Friedlander is an Orthodox elected Supreme Court judge in the Bronx.

  2. Sara Malk says:

    This editorial is a lie–not one in the last decade? Who are you kidding?
    With Ruchelsman, Balter(2003) Prus (2004), Morgenstern (2005), Schmidt, (2006) & Friedman (renominated 2012) plus the late Herb Kramer (renominated 2003) there’ve been sic Orthodox Jews nominated in the last decade, and six still on the bench. The Orthodox % of elected Supreme Court judges from Brooklyn exceeds the Orthodox percentage of the population and exceeds the number of Latinos and Asians combined.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Obama on Iran Deal
Is Obama a State Sponsor of Terrorism?
Latest Indepth Stories
Obama on Iran Deal

If the Iran deal passes, Obama’s WH becomes world’s leading financier of terrorism against Americans

Open Tent

{Originally posted to the author’s website, FirstOne Through} Some passionate and eloquent liberals have bemoaned the state of inclusiveness among Jews today. Leon Wieseltier, editor of the New Republic penned an angry piece “J Street’s Rejection Is a Scandal” about the exclusion in 2014 of J Street from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. […]

Hamas on the Temple Mount - Jul 3, 2015

Magnanimity by Moshe Dayan, allowing Muslim control of the Temple Mount, led to today’s situation.

Community-Jewels-logo

It was modeled upon a similar fund that had been set up by Sephardic Jews in Venice. But Amsterdam’s Dotar was initially more ambitious in scope.

Rav Aharon Margalit is a bestselling author – his book, As Long As I Live, has been translated into four languages – and a standing-room only lecturer. Both religious and non-religious audiences flock to hear him. What makes him so extraordinary? Rav Margalit is a Chasidic Jew who experienced incredible challenges from a very young […]

J Street is the vanguard (Jewish face)in support of Obama’s Vienna Accords Nuclear Deal with Iran

“I hold the woman’s place over that of men in every fundamental aspect of public and private life.”

The US-UNRWA accord is another example of this White House, hostile to Israel, disregarding truth.

On the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, Tisha B’av, a reflection on the dangerous deal with Iran

The Kotel gained significance around 1550. Previously, many Jews prayed on the Temple Mount itself.

All Jews MUST stand together to oppose boycotts against Israel. So why does NIF & JCF support BDS?

This year it is hard to concentrate on anything but Iran building nuclear weapons to destroy Israel

Bibi failed the moment he transferred Israel’s Iran problem to the international arena.

I was entranced by Kaddish, a song of sorrow of the whole of Israel for the 1000s of years of exile

Like the Avos, we are invested with the mission to inspire humanity to become nobler and greater

Iran accords are worse than Munich; even Chamberlain would be shocked at what is transpiring again.

More Articles from Editorial Board

Mr. Kerry may or may not be genuinely disturbed and troubled by the Iranian leader’s continued belligerence. With the deal completed, that’s not even a matter of concern anymore.

Mr. Silver’s legislation changed the primary date to April 19, which avoids any conflict. And, we are happy to say, he received the support of Republicans in the legislature for changing the date.

The issue of the Chief Rabbinate’s control over conversions and other life-cycle matters has long been a contentious one.

Can adoption agencies limit the placement of children to heterosexual couples only?

The court’s finding that the president has exclusive jurisdiction in recognizing foreign countries might have been be apt if the issue at hand were a congressional attempt to grant recognition to “Palestine” as a state.

It wasn’t too long ago that Mr. Erdogan, in his determination to burnish Turkey’s credentials as an Islamist state at the cost of the secularism that had brought much economic and political success to Turkey, upended his country’s decades-long cooperative relationship with Israel.

Does the pope really believe that Father Dehon’s destructive anti-Jewish calumnies do not disqualify him from the highest honor of the Catholic Church because in his time everyone did it?

There was something else of great importance in play – something we would have liked to see him take into account before deciding to stand with the boycotters.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/diversity-includes-orthodox-jews-too/2013/08/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: