By Glenn Coin | on May 06, 2013 at 5:05 PM, updated May 06, 2013 at 5:18 PM
New York’s highest court will have its first African-American woman after today’s unanimous confirmation by the state Senate of Sheila Abdus-Salaam.
Abdus-Salaam, an associate justice of the of the state’s First Appellate Division in New York City, was nominated April 5 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“Today we see history in the making,” said R. Nadine Fontaine, president of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, in a statement. “Judge Abdus-Salaam has repeatedly proven herself to be an exceptional and highly respected jurist.”
Sheila Abdus-Salaam, shown here in her official photo for the New York State Unified Court System, was confirmed today by the state Senate to become the first African-American woman on the state’s highest court.
Before being appointed to the appellate bench, Abdus-Salaam served as a judge for 18 years in the state Supreme Court and eight years as an assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights and Real Estate Financing Bureaus.
She earned her law degree at Columbia University School of Law.
Abdus-Salaam would replace Theodore T. Jones Jr., who died in November of a heart attack at age 68. He had been named to the court in 2007.
This is Cuomo’s second Court of Appeals nominee this year. In February, the Senateconfirmed the appointment of Jenny Rivera, a Bronx attorney and law professor at City University of New York.
Terms on the seven-member court are 14 years.