Former Chief Judge Judith Kaye passed away while this issue of the Albany Law Review was being prepared for publication. She was a frequent visitor at Albany Law School and a strong supporter of this law review and of our annual Chief Judge Lawrence H. Cooke Symposium. Indeed, she brought all of her Court of Appeals colleagues to the law school to serve as panelists for the 2008 Cooke Symposium, (1) and she herself spoke warmly about the symposium's namesake as her "favorite judge in Court of Appeals history." (2)
It is therefore particularly appropriate that this year's joint issue of New York Appeals and State Constitutional Commentary opens with a tribute by one of New York's most prominent and respected attorneys, Henry Greenberg, to that most beloved and admired jurist. (3) Hank writes as one who not only served as a law clerk for then Judge Kaye, but as one who remained a close personal and professional confidant.
It would be difficult--no, impossible--to improve upon Hank's tribute, but it would be remiss of me if I did not add a few words of my own. History will remember Judith Kaye as the first woman to serve on New York's highest court and the first to serve as its Chief Judge. But those of us who worked with her and knew her and loved her will remember her warmth and kindness, her wisdom and inspiration, her dignity and class, her elegance and eloquence, and her unsurpassed decency and tireless devotion to the public good. We miss her dearly. (4)
Chief Judge Kaye would no doubt approve heartily of her current successor in the Court of Appeals center seat, Janet M. DiFiore, and she would commend her for continuing the tradition--enthusiastically welcomed by Kaye's immediate successor, Jonathan Lippman--of bringing the entire Court of Appeals to our law school to present a Cooke Symposium. (5) This past year, Chief Judge DiFiore moderated "The Seven," a discussion among her colleagues about the decision-making process at the Court of Appeals. (6) As has always been true when the judges of New York's high court come to present the Cooke Symposium, the grateful audience of students, faculty, alums, and members of the local legal and judicial community was standing-room only, and the event was extraordinarily enlightening, entertaining, and exhilarating.
In this issue, a joinder of our annual New York Appeals and State Constitutional Commentary, a diverse collection of offerings provide a wide array of insights and analyses of this state's recent...