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Court, 4-3, Upholds Paterson’s Appointment of Lieutenant Governor (NY)

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brooklynite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:09 AM
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Court, 4-3, Upholds Paterson’s Appointment of Lieutenant Governor (NY)
Source: NY Times

In a stunning reversal, New York State’s highest court on Tuesday upheld Gov. David A. Paterson’s authority to appoint a lieutenant governor.

Though the decision was divided – four judges agreed that Mr. Paterson exercised proper authority while three said he did not – it was unambiguous in its affirmation of the governor’s authority.

“The issue on this appeal is whether the governor of the state of New York has the authority to fill a vacancy in the office of lieutenant-governor by appointment,” Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman wrote for the majority. “We now hold that he does.”

The decision resolved a longstanding constitutional question, and makes Richard Ravitch, the first appointed lieutenant governor in New York State’s history. See the decision and dissent.


Read more: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/22/court-upho...



At least we won't have to worry about Malcolm Smith (the Majority Leader who lost control of the Democratic Senate this summer, and was then "promoted" to Senate President), will be moving into the Governor's office, but I'm not sure what Richard Ravitch will be able to add to mix in Albany at this point.
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:26 AM
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1. That's great news for NY
Our government is slightly less dysfunctional! :bounce:
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:37 AM
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2. The swing vote was a republican appointee
3 Dems and 1 rep supported it. 3 reps were against.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:56 AM
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4. Judging (no pun intended) by the article, the three judges who voted against it were
having their Bush v. Gore moment. Nothing in the law prevents the Governor from filling a vacancy in the office of Lt. Gov. Nothing.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:14 AM
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3. Where are all the DUers who claim what is going on in Massachusetts is so terrible?
Dewey, a Republican decided the Governor should not appoint a Lt. Governor. That decision was purely political. When the seat has remained vacant, it's done so for "purely political reasons." And a Republican Senator challenged the appointment by Patterson. I'm sure politics had NOTHING to do with the challenge, right?

Hello, there's politics in politicians filling vacant seats or leaving them empty. On DU, though, apparently, that is controversial only when Democrats in Massachusetts do things for political reasons, but not when Republicans in NY do things for political reasons.




T"he confusion over how to fill the vacancy has not always existed. Judge Lippman noted that it was only after a 1943 ruling by the Court of Appeals that Gov. Thomas E. Dewey — a Republican who was concerned that the law could mean that the governor and lieutenant governor might be from opposing parties — persuaded the Legislature to exempt the lieutenant governor from a law providing for vacancies in elective offices to be filled in the next annual election.

A gubernatorial appointment “is entirely consonant” with the purpose of legal changes since 1943, Judge Lippman wrote, while keeping the job vacant “risked a scenario of the sort that the Legislature at Governor Dewey’s behest sought to avoid” — one in which the governor and lieutenant governor could come from opposing parties.

Judge Lippman wrote that the ruling “does create the possibility that an unelected official will, for a time, occupy the state’s highest office,” but added that the ruling was based on a reading of the law, not the “abstract question” of whether it would be best to fill the vacancy by election, by appointment, or by appointment subject to legislative confirmation.

Until now, there had only been two vacancies in the lieutenant governor’s job since 1943: in 1973, when Lt. Gov. Malcolm Wilson succeeded Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller, who resigned, and in 1985, when Lt. Gov. Alfred B. DelBello resigned. Both times, the job went unfilled.

“While it has been suggested that these vacancies were left unfilled because of some consensus as to the unavailability of the power of gubernatorial appointment, it is at least equally likely that they remained vacant for purely political reasons,” Judge Lippman wrote.
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