Last Monday, Gov. Cuomo formally swore in Janet DiFiore to serve as Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court. She succeeds Jonathan Lippman, who retired at the end of 2015 after reaching the state’s mandatory retirement age.

She said that in her capacity as leader of the state’s judiciary, she will undertake an “Excellence Initiative,” a “a detailed and comprehensive evaluation of current court processes and procedures to determine what is working well and what needs to be improved.” As part of the Excellence Initiative, the Office of Court Administration has launched a website through which comments and suggestions can be shared directly with Chief Judge DiFiore.

The full text of Chief Judge DiFiore’s speech is here.

Also last week, the State Senate approved the nomination of Michael Garcia to serve as an Associate Justice of the New York State Court of Appeals. Judge Garcia was Gov. Cuomo’s sixth nomination to state’s highest court, and the first Republican selection.