Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Advocate

Richard Blassberg

Judge Rory J. Bellantoni Embodies The Qualities We Should Seek In A State Supreme Court Justice

If one is truthful with respect to New York State’s Unified Court System one must acknowledge that there is very little to feel encouraged about these days. Political hoodlums such as Giulio Cavallo, whose principle
business involves the sale for cash of Independence Party cross-endorsements, not only function with impunity,
but are supported, judicially and financially, by the very appellate court, many members of which had paid money to him to ensure their election to the State Supreme Court. In addition, the former Administrative Judge of the
entire State Court System, Jonathan Lippman, a Democrat, now Presiding Judge of the State Supreme Court Appellate Division, First Department, desperately needing to get elected to the State Supreme Court, colluded and conspired with Westchester County Court Judge Joseph Alessandro, a Republican, to cross-endorse each other, thus manipulating the electoral process and absolutely guaranteeing their election.

In light of the above facts, that represent a very small fraction of the scandalous conduct in the state courts, particularly Westchester Supreme Court, Matrimonial and Criminal Parts, that The Westchester Guardian has
been exposing for some time, it is particularly refreshing and reassuring to observe the judicial activities of a dedicated, courageous, jurist such as Rory J. Bellantoni. Judge Bellantoni, Presiding Judge of Westchester’s Sex
Offender Court, is a true believer in the American advocacy system of justice. Politics play no role in his courtroom, as he goes out of his way to provide each side with the full benefit of the Law in an effort to insure
just and truthful outcomes.

Judge Rory Bellantoni, at 38, manifests a judicial temperament far beyond his years. Perhaps his precociousness is due, in part, to the good example he has witnessed from his father, State Supreme Court Justice Orazio R. Bellantoni. The temperament is well placed in an individual who perceives the role of a judge in terms of the opportunity to serve his community, and not as a reward for some past political favor.

Some might call Bellantoni a “Fordham Man” in light of his graduation Summa Cum Laude, and Phi Beta Kappa from Fordham University, followed by his graduation from Fordham Law, on the Dean’s List in 1995. His experiences in the United States Attorney’s Office, as well as his stint as Senior Assistant District Attorney in Rockland County, and particularly his service as Law Clerk, and Court Attorney to the Hon. Sam Walker, helped prepare him for his desired judicial career.

In addition to his present assignment as Presiding Judge of Westchester’s Sex Offender Court, and Acting Justice of the Supreme Court, Judge Bellantoni has also served in Family Court dealing with issues of custody and support. As an Acting Supreme Court Justice he has had diverse civil experience. In short, he is ready, and well-prepared, for the State Supreme Court position he now pursues.

Bellantoni, a Republican, has enjoyed significant support from Democratic and other voters because of his reputation for fairness and his demonstrated dedication to justice without regard to politics. He has repeatedly
received enthusiastic support from labor unions, police agencies and civic organizations throughout the Ninth Judicial District.

The father of two young children, Bellantoni, once again has been taking his campaign, literally to the doorsteps
of people across Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, and Dutchess Counties, often accompanied by his lovely wife Amy as well as his mother, in a truly ‘grass-roots’ effort. He not only enjoys meeting and speaking with people, but also sees his campaign as an excellent opportunity to hear first-hand what is on the minds of individuals with regard to the ways in which the state courts may more positively impact their lives.

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