ALBANY – Nearly 1,000 elected state judges will no longer receive assignments to cases where lawyers, their firms or their clients have contributed $2,500 or more to the judge’s campaigns in the previous two years, or have collectively contributed $3,500 or more, under a new rule adopted by the court system.
Section 151.1 of the Rules of the Chief Administrative Judge, whose approval was announced yesterday, will take effect on July 15 and apply to any political contributions received after that date.
“This rule promotes public confidence in the independence, fairness and impartiality of the Judiciary,” said Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman.
He said the new rule establishes “simple” guidelines to alleviate public suspicion of big-money influence on the administration of justice. It replaces a subjective approach that has depended on individual judges to determine when they should recuse themselves from cases.
“It is not a recusal rule,” he said. “It is an assignment rule.”
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