By Julia Marsh August 31, 2016
For the first time in its history, an influential Manhattan political club has voted to block the promotion of a city civil court judge — over her handling of abortion issues.
The Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club made the unanimous recommendation against Judge Lori Sattler to judicial delegates who will fill the empty Supreme Court judgeships at a convention in September.
The club regularly endorses jurists, but has never since its 2004 founding held a negative referendum against a judge.
“Judge Sattler is best known for slamming a mother for having an abortion in a child-custody case,” said club President Allen Roskoff. “We find an endorsement of Sattler a vote against abortion rights.”
Sattler made the controversial decision in the 2013 case of Manuel Mehos vs. Lisa Mehos to allow evidence about the woman’s postdivorce abortion in a custody trial.
Former longtime judicial delegate Arthur Schwartz said, “Given that Manhattan can have some pretty close races, Allen’s opposition can mean a lot.”
Sattler is one of at least a dozen candidates running for five openings.
Her campaign adviser, ex-Sheldon Silver aide Joanna Saccone, blamed the vote on judicial politics and said, “Judge Sattler was unanimously upheld by the Appellate Division.”