The Judiciary Article of the NYS Constitution

Modern Courts believe that the Judiciary Article of the NYS Constitution could be improved. Amending the Judiciary Article of the Constitution is under consideration now in the NYS Legislature.

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There are a number of issues affecting the courts that can only be addressed by amending the Judiciary Article (VI) of the Constitution, including:

The Structure of the Courts

  • Modern Courts believes the current organization of the courts is needlessly complicated and inefficient.

Public Policy Relating to Judicial Selection

  • Modern Courts believes that judicial selection must be improved by adopting a qualification commission-based appointive system to select all judges and justices.

Judicial Resources

  • Modern Courts believes that increasing the number of justices is essential to ensure the fair administration of justice and access for all.

Other Matters

Many provisions of the current NYS Constitution MUST be preserved.

Importantly many provisions of the current Constitution must be preserved in order to maintain the integrity of the judicial system and keep the courts functioning. These include provisions in the existing Constitution which:

  • establish the Commission on Judicial Nomination and the qualification commission-based appointment system of selecting New York’s Court of Appeals judges;
  • provide the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals with the authority to administer the Unified Court System
  • establish the Commission on Judicial Conduct which has the authority to conduct, receive, initiate, investigate and hear complaints with respect to the conduct, qualifications, fitness to perform or performance of official duties of any judge or justice in any court; and
  • provide that judges of the Family Court within the City of New York and the judges of the court of city-wide criminal jurisdiction are appointed by the Mayor of the City of New York.

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