The Higher Education of New York State’s New Black High Court Judge

Shortly after taking office, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer nominated Theodore T. Jones Jr. to a seat on the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court.

Jones will be the only African American on the seven-member Court of Appeals. If confirmed by the GOP-controlled state Senate, he will serve a 14-year term on the bench. In making the selection, Governor Spitzer said that the court should reflect “the diversity of our society.” But he added, “Race did not play a role in my selection process.”

Jones has served for 17 years on the state Supreme Court in Brooklyn. He is a native of Brooklyn where his father was a stationmaster on the Long Island Railroad. He is a graduate of Hampton University and St. John’s University School of Law.