Chief Justice Judith Kaye is stepping down from the NY State Court of Appeals on December 31 because the mandatory retirement age is 70, and colleges, experts and others describe her as an "outstanding" and "remarkable" judge to the NY Times. Kaye, who attended Barnard and NYU Law, was appointed to the court by Mario Cuomo in 1983 and then was made chief justice in 1993. She's not that happy the nominees for her job are all men or that she said to file a lawsuit to insist upon raises for jurists ("It takes a little bit of the joy out of everything"), but she helped overhaul the jury system and, though NY State didn't recognize gay marriage, her 2006 dissenting opinionhas been cited by California and Connecticut courts in their decisions to recognize gay marriage. She wrote, "It is uniquely the function of the Judicial Branch to safeguard individual liberties guaranteed by the New York State Constitution, and to order redress for their violation. The Court's duty to protect constitutional rights is an imperative of the separation of powers, not its enemy. I am confident that future generations will look back on today's decision as an unfortunate misstep."