Monday, June 22, 2009

Back to Court

In an earlier post, I noted the wisdom of the Democrats' decision not to appeal Judge McNamara's opinion in Smith v. Espada. Turns out I jumped the gun. After negotiations between the two caucuses broke down again on Thursday, the Democrats changed their mind and will appear before the Appellate Division on Tuesday, a day after the scheduled conclusion of the session. Hopefully the court will affirm the earlier case.

But does it really make a difference? Even if Malcolm Smith (or John Sampson) is ruled the Temporary President, this does not produce a quorum, unless the Smith-Sampson team adopts the Espada position that the Temporary President has two votes on a quorum call. Of course, they have strenuously opposed this view until now. (My earlier post about Espada's possible entitlement to two votes does not include quorum calls. It is fairly clear that each member can have no more than one vote on such a procedural motion.)

1 comment:

victor said...

of course it makes a difference. the stalemate wasn't caused by a lack of quorum. it was caused by a dispute over who the leadership is and what the rules are.

the lack of quorum is just a sympton of the disease. the disease being that the two sides have laid claim to the leadership.

now, of course they could, theoretically, work out some bi-partisan power sharing arrangement. but it's pretty clear that's a non-starter for Dean and Espada.

what else can the Democrats do? they can either sue or go back to being the minority. I'm not clear what other option they have. Please enlighten us.