Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New York state constitutional crisis?

New York's state constitutional crisis is not about Long Island seceding (see below), but about a Legislative logjam.  As the NYT reported yesterday, "A week after Republicans wrested power in the State Senate away from Democrats, their thin majority collapsed on Monday, leaving the chamber in a 31-31 tie with its leadership picture more confused than ever."   Ordinarily, a tie in the Senate would be broken by the Lieutenant Governor; however NY's Lt. Governor, David Paterson, became Governor after Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned after a scandal.

The Democrats filed suit in state supreme court (note that in New York, the highest court is the Court of Appeals), but the judge dismissed the case, relying on separation of powers issues under the state constitution.  (Decision below)

Smith v Espada McNamara Decision   

Decision courtesy of Times-Union in Albany.  For good continuing coverage, see the "Capitol Confidential" blog of the Times-Union.



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