BROOKLYN (VINnews/SandyEller) — Judge Rachel Freier, the first Hasidic individual to be elected a Civil Court judge in New York, has made history once again, this time by being appointed New York’s first Hasidic Acting New York State Supreme Court justice.
Freier had previously thrown her hat in the ring this past summer in the hopes of being nominated as a candidate to fill one of ten open seats in Kings County Supreme Court, as previously reported on VIN News.
While a judicial screening committee gave Freier’s candidacy their stamp of approval, Brooklyn district leaders chose not to include her on their list of nominees whose names ultimately appeared on the Democratic ballot for last November’s general elections.
Understanding that there are also opportunities for Civil Court judges to be appointed as Acting State Supreme Court justices on a merit basis when a determination is made that additional judges are needed at that level, Freier submitted her resume to the Supreme Court supervisor to be considered for one of those additional positions.
She underwent an interview, and was told that decisions would be made before the end of the year by the chief administrative judge in consultation with the deputy chief administrative judge for New York City, without actually expecting to be chosen.
“But then lo and behold, as I was preparing my Shabbos candles on December 30th, I got a phone call from someone saying ‘Mazel tov, you’ve been appointed,’” Freier told VIN News. “It was ten minutes before Shabbos and I checked my email and saw that it had really happened.”
Freier began her work as an Acting Supreme Court Judge on January 3rd. She has the ability to remain in that position at her supervisor’s discretion for the remaining four years of her term as a Civil Court judge, or can choose to run in the August primary in the hopes that she will make it onto the November ballot and be elected a Supreme Court justice, a position that comes with a 14 year term.
Becoming New York’s first Hasidic Supreme Court justice has been a surreal experience for Freier who is grateful to her supervisor for giving her the opportunity to sit on the Brooklyn Supreme Court bench.
“Trailblazing comes in many shapes and forms,” said state court spokesperson Lucian Chalfen. “Justice Rachel Freier clearly has been a trailblazer throughout her life and career and the Judiciary is fortunate to have someone with her knowledge, awareness and compassion represent it to the people of New York State.”