Battle Over Chief Judge. Hochul faces an internal confrontation with fellow Democrats over selection of the new Chief Judge of the state’s highest court. The incumbent, Janet DiFiore, has announced her retirement from the Court of Appeals. DiFiore was a close confidante of Cuomo. He appointed her after serving as chair of the Joint Committee on Public Ethics. She was conservative leaning which estranged party progressives. DiFiore anchored the majority 4 member conservative bloc on the 7 member court. Hochul is in for major confrontation with progressives. A Nominating Committee will prepare a list of candidates from which the Governor will make her selection and send it to the Senate for confirmation. The timing is especially bad in an election year. Battle Over Chief Judge. It will test Hochul’s ability to navigate treacherous political waters !!