Charles D. Breitel
Charles David Breitel (December 12, 1908, New York City – December 1, 1991, Manhattan, New York City) was an American lawyer and politician from New York. He was Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals from 1974 to 1978.
He was the son of Herman L. Breitel and Regina D. (Zuckerberg) Breitel. He attended the public schools in New York City. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan and a law degree from Columbia University Law School. On April 9, 1927, he married Jeanne S. Hollander, and they had two daughters.
From 1934 to 1950 he worked for Thomas E. Dewey. While Dewey was, successively, New York City's Special Prosecutor of Rackets, District Attorney of New York County, briefly in private law practice, and from 1943 on Governor of New York, Breitel was Assistant D.A., Dewey's law partner, and Counsel to the Governor.
In 1950, Dewey appointed him a justice of the New York Supreme Court to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Samuel Null. In December 1950, Dewey re-appointed Breitel to the Supreme Court to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Ferdinand Pecora. In November 1951, he was elected on the Republican and Democratic tickets to a 14-year term, and re-elected in 1965. He was on the Appellate Division from 1952 to 1966.
In January 1967, he was appointed a judge of the New York Court of Appeals to fill the vacancy caused by the election of Stanley H. Fuld as Chief Judge. In November 1967, he was elected to a 14-year term. In November 1973, he was elected on the Republican and Liberal tickets Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, defeating Democrat Jacob D. Fuchsberg and Conservative James J. Leff.
As Chief Judge, he was a strong proponent of changing the way of choosing the Court of Appeals' judges from popular election, which had been the system since its establishment in 1846, to having them appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the New York State Senate. New York State voters approved a constitutional amendment, and Breitel's successor as Chief Judge, Lawrence H. Cooke, was appointed by Governor Hugh L. Carey in 1979.
He retired from the bench at the end of 1978 when he reached the constitutional age limit of 70 years.
-  Political Graveyard
-  Listing of Court of Appeals judges, with portrait
-  Obit in NYT on December 3, 1991
Stanley H. Fuld
|Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals
Lawrence H. Cooke