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Justice Shirley Troutman of Buffalo confirmed for the state's highest court

The newest member of the state's highest court is from Buffalo. Justice Shirley Troutman was unanimously confirmed by the full New York State Senate.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Justice Shirley Troutman is now the second Black woman appointed to sit on the New York Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state. 

Troutman was nominated by Governor Kathy Hochul to fill a vacancy left by the retired Justice Eugene Fahey, also of Buffalo.

Troutman last served as an appellate judge. 

Before her confirmation, many senators lauded her accomplishments.

Senator Jamaal Bailey said, "Representation matters, it matters to see people like you in these positions in decision-making positions."

Senator Sean Ryan of Buffalo said, "Judge Troutman is a proud graduate of Bennett High School. She's a tiger through and through. She went to UB and Albany Law School."

Governor Hochul congratulated the newest member of the court. She said<
"Justice Shirley Troutman will be an extraordinary addition to the New York State Court of Appeals. During her confirmation hearings, Justice Troutman showed New Yorkers why she is well-suited to join our state's highest court: her extraordinary qualifications, her superlative legal mind, her fair-minded judicial philosophy, and her commitment to equity and justice for all New Yorkers. I commend the New York State Senate for their thorough review of this nomination, and congratulate Justice Troutman on her confirmation."

Some criminal justice advocates expressed disappointment with the court.

Peter Martin, Judicial Accountability Project Director at Center for Community Alternatives said, "Judge Troutman is a well-regarded jurist, and importantly, she is the second Black woman to ever serve on the state’s highest court. However, her background as a prosecutor intensifies an existing imbalance at a moment when New York desperately needs high-court judges with experience representing our most vulnerable communities. With the confirmation of Judge Shirley Troutman, the Court of Appeals now has a full majority of former prosecutors."

Republican Senator Robert Ortt of Western New York voted for Judge Troutman saying, "She understands the role of protecting the public."

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