WBASNY Strongly Opposes the Senate Bill to Amend Judiciary Law

WBASNY Strongly Opposes the Senate Bill to Amend Judiciary Law

New York, NY, Monday, May 1, 2023 – Although a tentative deal has been announced, the Women’s Bar of the State of New York, (“WBASNY”) strongly opposes the Senate bill to amend Judiciary Law §212 to add new reporting requirements concerning judicial education and training, judicial performance reviews, judicial threat reporting requirements, and which imposes a $10 million automatic cut to non-personal services funding in the judiciary’s budget for failing to timely comply with such requirements.

S4005-B Part DDD would serve little purpose other than to subject the judiciary to a $10 million fine and unconstitutional oversight by the legislature under a penalty of budgetary pressure. As a result, WBASNY strongly opposes this legislation which would ultimately serve to deny access to justice due to additional budgetary cuts that are cloaked as a punitive fine.

Senate bill 4005-B Part DDD of the Public Protection and General Government (PPGG) of the New York State proposed budget legislation would amend the Judiciary Law to provide largely redundant reporting requirements regarding continuing education, judicial performance, and security measures in response to threats to the judiciary in New York State. Specifically, this bill would require an annual report by the Office of Court Administration (“OCA”) to the Governor and the Legislature regarding: an individual judge’s (a) participation in continuing education programs; (b) resolution of cases; and (c) orders and judgments reversed, modified or vacated on appeal. In addition, reporting is required with respect to threats against judicial and non-judicial officers and the use of extraordinary security measures at any point during the prior year. The failure of OCA to release the report timely would result in an automatic and punitive $10 million reduction in non-personal services funding from the Unified Court System budget, which would have a negative impact on the entire court system that is already strained for resources.

WBASNY opposes this legislation, in part, because it will disrupt the constitutional separation of powers through legislation by tying funding of training, programming, and performance of members of the judiciary to reporting requirements. It is paramount, the State’s judiciary must always be able to decide cases before it without political, legislative, or financial threats.

Furthermore, the proposed legislation is duplicative of reporting requirements which are already in place through the Rules of the Chief Judge and the Annual Report of Courts. Moreover, reporting on security threats may imperil the lives and safety of judges and their families by requiring individual identification of incidents and details which would potentially dissuade judges from reporting threats and leading to inadvertent disclosure of otherwise confidential information.


The Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (WBASNY) is the professional membership organization of choice for nearly 4,000 attorneys throughout New York State and the largest statewide women’s bar association in the country. For more than four decades, WBASNY has been a singularly important resource for women lawyers, providing professional networking, continuing legal education programming, leadership training, and advocacy for the rights of women, children, and families. Through involvement with WBASNY’s 20 regional chapters and its 40-plus substantive law committees, WBASNY’s members collaborate with one another on a variety of issues and perform public and community service, in furtherance of its mission to promote the advancement of the status of women in society and women in the legal profession; to promote the fair and equal administration of justice; and to act as a unified voice for its members with respect to issues of statewide, national and international significance to women generally and women attorneys in particular. WBASNY holds United Nations NGO status with the U.N.’s Department of Public Information, and Special Consultative status in association with the U.N. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). WBASNY is also a founding member of the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations.

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