ITHACA, N.Y.—Deirdre Hay announced her campaign for New York State Supreme Court Justice for the Sixth Judicial District, which includes Tompkins County, on June 15.
The Sixth Judicial District encompasses all of Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Madison, Otsego, Schuyler, Tioga and Tompkins Counties.
Hay is running against Cheryl Insinga, a municipal attorney from Johnson City, a village in Broome County. Insinga has received support from Broome County Republican Chair Benji Federman.
Hay has been practicing law since 1990, a year after earning her juris-doctorate from the University of Melbourne, Australia, where she grew up. In 2005, she graduated from the University of Sydney with her Doctor of Juridical studies. She has been a member of the New York State Bar Association for 25-years and served as President of the Women’s Bar Association of New York in 2019. She also co-founded the Finger Lakes Women’s Bar Association, according to Lane.
Hay said she also serves on the board of Legal Assistance of Western New York (LawNY), an organization that provides free legal advice to those in need.
“Justice should be universal and available to everyone,” Hay said. “Not just those who can afford an attorney.”
During the course of her career, she has focused on Antitrust Law and has become a leading voice on the subject both nationally and internationally.
She currently teaches business law as an adjunct professor at Cornell Law School and formerly held the position of Managing Editor of the American Bar Association’s Antitrust Law Journal, according to the statement released from Hay’s campaign team.
Linda Hoffman, Chair of the Tompkins County Democratic Committee, as well as Emily Adams, a prominent figure in local Democratic circles and campaign coordinator for Hay, both spoke in support of her campaign at the announcement event at Argos Inn in downtown Ithaca.
Rather than focusing her campaigning efforts to just Tompkins, Hoffman said Hay has plans to visit all 10 counties.
“This launch requires a journey,” Hoffman said. “Deirdre has already begun, but it’s going to intensify.”
The State Supreme Court decides civil cases, which can include election law disputes, construction and zoning cases, contested divorces, personal injury cases and medical malpractice, according to a statement from Hay’s campaign staff.
The Tompkins County Legislator Mike Lane also spoke at the event, and cited Hay’s extensive academic background and her deep understanding of rural and familial issues as main reasons she would be a good fit for the job.
Lane said 30% of cases brought to the NY State Supreme Court bench are contested divorces, and according to the statement by Hay’s campaign staff, she has experience in “highly emotional and high-stakes litigation cases.”
“We want someone who is grounded in the community, who is serious, fair, experienced, and able to learn and apply the law,” Lane said.
He spoke about the “tough road ahead,” and said eight out of the 10 counties in the Sixth Judicial District lean “pretty heavily Republican.”
State Supreme Court Justices cannot, by law, reveal their political affiliation, according to Hay. But, they are allowed to disclose endorsements from politically partisan organizations. For example, Hay told the audience she was endorsed by Eleanor’s Legacy, a statewide organization focused on recruiting, training and electing pro-choice Democratic women at the state and local level, according to its website.
The State Supreme Court decides civil cases, which can include election law disputes, construction and zoning cases, contested divorces, personal injury cases and medical malpractice, according to a statement from Hay.
Election Day is Nov. 7, 2023 and early voting begins Oct. 28 and ends Nov. 5.