Viral Photo Suggests Trump Could Face All-Black Judging Panel For Appeal

Photo: Getty Images

A photo going viral on social media suggests that former President Donald Trump could face an all-Black appeals court in his New York hush money case.

On Thursday (May 30), a New York jury found Trump guilty on 34 felony counts of falsifying records related to hush money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels amid the 2016 election.

Trump is the first former president to become a convicted felon. He has made it clear that he plans to appeal the conviction.

In a now-viral tweet on X, formerly Twitter, a social media user shared a photo of five Black female justices from New York's First Department Appellate Division.

Do you think Trump has a chance with the Manhattan appeals court?” the X user said in the tweet, which has garnered roughly 1.8 million views.

If Trump appeals the guilty verdict, his case will be passed to the State’s Appellate Division, First Judicial Department, a branch of the New York Supreme Court. The First Department Appellate Division is made up of 21 justices, five of whom were pictured in the viral photo.

Though it is possible for the five women pictured in the post to be selected to sit on the case, justices are randomly chosen from the pool of First Department Appellate Division's 21 members.

The viral photo showing Justice Bahaati Pitt-Burke, Justice Troy K. Webber, Presiding Justice Dianne T. Renwick, Justice Tanya R. Kennedy, and Justice Marsha D. Michael was taken in February 2024 as the panel made history as the first time all-black bench to ever sit on a case in the First Department.

The First Department Appellate Division confirmed to The Dispatch that the selection process is random, so it's unclear who of the 21 justices would be assigned to Trump's appeal.

If Trump loses his appeal at the First Department Appellate Division, he could still take his case to the Court of Appeals, New York State’s highest court.

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