NYS Court of Appeals Judge May Be Removed Over COVID Requirement
A jurist on New York State's highest court could be removed from the bench over her refusal to comply with a COVID-19 mandate.
Judge Jenny Rivera has been barred from courtroom facilities and has been working remotely since October, the Associated Press reported, handling court proceedings via video conference. Rivera, one of seven judges on the New York State Court of Appeals, has failed to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination. All court personnel are required by the state to provide proof of vaccination, or could lose their jobs.
Two weeks ago, the state said there were 156 employees in the New York State unified court system who had filed to meet the requirement, and faced an April 4 deadline to comply with the requirement, the AP reported:
"...of those employees, 103 are being sent termination letters, one has resigned, 11 have said they are retiring, and 41 have chosen to comply with the mandate and will return to duty."
However, that deadline only applied to court personnel, not judges.
Rivera, along with four other judges across the state, has been referred to action of a disciplinary hearing before the state's Commission on Judicial Conduct, which can remove her from the bench, something the commission has never done to a Court of Appeals Judge, the report stated.
Rivera was appointed to the court by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2013.
A timeline for the Commission on Judicial Conduct's review of Rivera's vaccination status was not clear.