Tuesday, February 23, 2010
The New York Court of Appeals has issued its decision in the dispute over judicial compensation. The court holds:
The consitutional arguments raised in these judicial compensation appeals are premised upon, among other things, alleged violations of the New York State Constitution's Compensation Clause and the Separation of Powers doctrine is aimed at preventing one branch of government from dominating or interfering with the functioning of another co-equal branch, we conclude that the independence of the judiciary is improperly jeopardized by the current judicial pay crisis and this constitutes a violation of the Separation of Powers doctrine.
Justice Smith dissented, sharing his "colleagues' dismay at the Legislature's behavior in dealing with, or rather failing to deal with, judges' salaries..." but not agreeing "that any of its actions or inactions is unconstitutional." (Mike Frisch)