Brooklynites often vote to elect judges, but the process by which judges are elected is murky. Three courts in New York City have elected judges:
- the Supreme Court of New York State,
- Surrogate’s Court, and the
- Civil Court of New York City.
Other courts are presided over by appointed judges. The system for electing judges in New York is heavily influenced by political parties through law and custom. The Brooklyn Democratic Party leadership benefits from their grip on judicial elections in multiple ways, giving them sway over the employment of court staff and appointment of court-ordered financial guardians and incentivizing judicial candidates to make monetary contributions to their campaign accounts.
Concerns about the judicial election process does not mean NKD believes candidates in judicial primaries are not competent or worthy of the position. The document below is an effort to bring awareness and clarity to judicial elections and the role the Brooklyn Democratic Party plays.
Last Updated May 2019.