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New Yorkers went to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, and gave a firm “no” to the once-every-20-years ballot question regarding whether to assemble a state constitutional convention. Much of the opposition focused on concerns that a convention could result in a new constitution stripped of the protections guaranteed to New Yorkers since at least 1938. Somewhat lost in this cacophony of objectors was the argument that a convention would provide New Yorkers the opportunity to restructure their “Byzantine” court system—to borrow the late Chief Judge Judith Kaye’s characterization—for the first time in many years.
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