W. Dennis Duggan, a Family Court judge in Albany, said the wide support for creating a judges' association was similar to early moves toward trade unions in industry.
"It could effectively be the equivalent of what a union does to negotiate for employees," Judge Duggan said.
"The message is: United we stand," he said.
New York is already home to the nation's most heavily unionized public-sector workforce, including thousands of lawyers, educators and other professionals, many of them in supervisory positions. In the state's heavily unionized public education sector, at least 5,767 teachers and administrators were paid higher salaries than judges in 2009-10, according to data at SeeThroughNY.net.
The difference, of course, is that many of these judges are elected. Then again, the elected officials in charge of New York's legislative and executive branches have "belonged" to unions (in a different sense) for years.