New York Governor David A. Paterson has the constitutional power to fill a vacancy in the office of lieutenant governor, the state Court of Appeals ruled 4-3 Tuesday, marking a stunning turnaround from the rulings of two lower courts.

“While there can be no quarrel with the proposition that, generally, election must be the preferred means of filling vacancies in the elective office, it does not follow that the elective principle is preeminent when it comes to filling a vacancy in the office of Lieutenant-Governor,” Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman wrote for the majority in Skelos v. Paterson, 183.

By contrast, Judge Eugene F. Pigott Jr. wrote for the dissenters that the ruling opened the possibility that “citizens of this State will one day find themselves governed by a person who has never been subjected to scrutiny by the electorate” should an appointed lieutenant governor succeed to the governor’s post.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]