Friday, September 25, 2009

Skelos v. Paterson: Judge Read's Vote

Many judges and lawyers have expressed surprise that in Skelos v. Paterson the New York Court of Appeals rejected the unanimous conclusions of the Appellate Division, Second Department, and the trial court, to conclude that Governor Paterson has the authority to appoint a Lieutenant Governor.

The biggest surprise to many in the legal community is that Judge Read, a Republican appointee to the Court, voted with the three Democratic appointees to uphold Democratic Governor Paterson's position.

The explanation favored by most observers is the one I advanced here on Tuesday: that Judge Read, a former Deputy Counsel to Governor Pataki, was more willing than her Republican colleagues on the Court to uphold the assertion (and what the dissenters considered enlargement) of executive authority by a governor.

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