Press Releases

Doxxing of Chief Judge DiFiore Vaccine Mandate Quirk

I was dismayed to see the controversy over the New York Court’s decision to require a vaccine or routine COVID testing for Court personnel reach a boiling point last week. Dennis Quirk, president of the New York State Court Officers Association, posted Chief Judge DiFiore’s home addresses to his public Facebook page as part of a call to union members to stage at the Chief Judge’s home a protest of the Court’s decision.  He has since been suspended from his court officer duties for 30 days.

This presents a grave matter of judicial security. If you doubt the danger that can follow high-profile judges, please remember the tragic killing, barely one year ago, of Daniel Anderl, son of District Judge Esther Salas, at the front door of their family home in New Jersey. If you doubt that danger could attend to Chief Judge DiFiore, whose personal information Mr. Quirk has disseminated, only remember that Chief Judge DiFiore’s name and photograph were found in the possession of Daniel Anderl’s killer. There is no doubt that the right of the public to protest the decisions of its leaders must be preserved, but Mr. Quirk’s actions are particularly irresponsible considering the alternative options available for protest. No reasonable person would question the right of a union to pursue an appropriately filed grievance or the right of its members to protest outside a highly visible public venue, such as a courthouse.

Some tempers have run hot concerning vaccination mandates. Those voices must not be excluded from the public debate. But if we are to resolve our differences and arrive at solutions to our disagreements, it can only be through dialogue grounded in trust and cooperation.  Let us confront our common challenges in ways that promote peace and civil discourse in our society while remaining mindful of our responsibility to protect our judges and the justice system that they represent.

Sheila S. Boston
President, New York City Bar Association