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Court of Appeals Justice Abdus-Salaam found dead in Hudson

rooz Court of Appeals Justice Abdus-Salaam found dead in Hudson image

0 With U. S. Attorney General Eric Holder, left and Lt. Governor Bob Duffy, right in attendance Sheila Abdus-Salaam, left, was sworn in by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman as the first African-American woman judge of the New York State Court of Appeals June 20, 2013 in the Court of Appeals Chamber in Albany, N.Y. (Skip Dickstein/Times Union)
State Court of Appeals Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam’s body was found floating in the Hudson River on Wednesday afternoon, according to a report posted just before 6 p.m. by the New York Post. The New York Police Department later confirmed the death.
Abdus-Salaam, whose fully clothed body was spotted by passersby on the Manhattan side of the river near 132nd Street, had served on the state’s highest court since June 2013.
The Post reported that Abdus-Salaam, 65, had been reported missing from her home in Harlem earlier Wednesday. Her husband later identified her body, which according to the paper’s sources said it showed no obvious signs of trauma or injuries.
At her swearing-in ceremony in 2013, then-U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said it was apparent from their time together at Columbia Law School in the 1970s that she was intelligent, serious, witty and “Sheila could boogie.”
Abdus-Salaam, during her own remarks, noted to Holder how improbable their professional achievements would have seemed four decades ago.
“Who knew that we would both attain such high positions, and that you would be the first black United States attorney general, and I would be the first black woman on the New York Court of Appeals?”
She was also the first Muslim member of the high court.
Abdus-Salaam was elected to trial-level state Supreme Court in 1993 and re-elected in 2007. She joined the state’s midlevel Appellate Division court in Manhattan in 2009.
A graduate of Barnard College and Columbia, she worked for East Brooklyn Legal Services Corp., the state attorney general and the New York City Office of Labor Services. She was also served a judge on New York City’s Civil Court.
Vacancies on the Court of Appeals are filled through nominations by the governor, who selects from a list prepared by a state commission. The state Senate must confirm that nomination. Casey Seiler

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