New York State now has a lieutenant governor.
The state Court of Appeals (New York's highest court) ruled today that David Paterson did have the authority to appoint Richard Ravitch to the vacant job.
Writes Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman in the 4-3 majority decision:
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. We now hold that he does.
The decision goes on to argue that the post of lieutenant governor falls under "a catch-all" provision of state law that allows the governor to make appointments for positions that don't otherwise have rules laid out for their replacement (lieutenant governor being one of these jobs).
From the dissent, written by Judge Eugene Pigott:
Under the majority's rationale, the possibility exists that the citizens of this State will one day find themselves governed by a person who has never been subjected to scrutiny by the electorate, and who could in turn appoint his or her own unelected Lieutenant-Governor.
We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.