Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Role of the Courts in Ending the Gridlock in Albany

Larry Norden is quoted in Crain's New York Business this morning saying that with no clear legal precedent, it's difficult to say how the courts would rule on the Governor's appointment of a Lieutenant Governor. But is worth it to have them hear the case that the Republican caucus has already brought - the courts can clarify once and for all the Governor's power in this area. They may find that he has the legitimate authority give the Senate a presiding officer to shepherd the chamber through its extraordinary session gridlock. We have opposed other attempts to bring the courts into the Senate's leadership fight, but this is an appropriate time for the judicial branch to step in and interpret the law.

Queens Democratic Assemblyman Rory Lancman has a slightly different take on the role of the courts. In an op-ed in Newsday, he argues that by refusing to weigh in on the leadership dispute to date, the courts have been abdicating their responsibility. While have not favored judicial intervention prior to the Governor's announcement that he is appointing a lieutenant governor, Lancman's op-ed is worth a read for another point of view.

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