Sure, no judicial experience. Not and never a government official. Nor a political party official. Nor advisor to a governor or senator. Nor a legal academic.
No, he's not the typical nominee for the Court of Appeals. Not a judge on a New York State appellate or trial court, as were 6 of the 7 members of the high court when Andrew Cuomo became Governor. No, not Rowan Wilson.
Oh, and he was born in California.
But, again, hard to beat.
Harvard undergraduate and law school.
Clerkship with the chief judge of a federal circuit court of appeals.
A partner at Cravath--one of the, or THE, most prestigious law firm in New York and the nation.
Litigator for clients such as Time Warner, Royal Dutch Shell, IBM, and Pricewaterhouse Coopers. [They don't hire no slacks!]
Complex antitrust, copyright, trade secret, and securities fraud litigation. [Slacks can't handle those!]
And, he also [Perhaps for penance--just kidding!] has handled civil rights litigation, worked in support of affirmative action, and serves as the chair of the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem.
And, he's only 52.
Soooo, at the end of 2015, when Chief Judge Lippman must retire [because of New York's moronic mandatory age-70 retirement], Rowan Wilson will only be 55 or 56. If selected by Governor Cuomo to fill the current vacancy, he will have served 2 1/2 years on the Court of Appeals by that time, and he'll have a full 14 years till his 70th birthday.
He might just be the ideal choice--and politically ideal choice--to succeed Lippman as Chief.
Governor Cuomo's father made history with several firsts. When he was Governor, Mario Cuomo appointed the first woman, the first African-American, and the first Hispanic members to New York's highest court. He also appointed the first female Chief Judge.
With Rowan Wilson, Governor Andrew Cuomo could make his own historic appointment. The first African-American Chief Judge.
And come on, at least based on Wilson's extraordinary credentials and career to date, who could question his qualifications?
Yes, he's a most interesting name on the list. Not surprisingly, Court of Appeals watchers are abuzz about him.
Based upon Judge Wilson's record on the Court of Appeals over the last several years, I'm only more persuaded of my original assessment. Let's hope I'm right, for our Court, for the law, and for the people of New York.
Next, we'll look at a few highlights of his record thus far on the Court of Appeals. Specifically, we'll look at some of the most revealing opinions he's authored these past six years.