The New York State Court of Appeals will soon decide whether Gov. David Paterson legally appointed Richard Ravitch as lieutenant governor. The case will settle a constitutional question whether the governor has the authority to choose his lieutenant if the position is vacant. Professor William Hellerstein was quoted in the New York Times
about the potential outcomes of the case, which could be a huge setback for Gov. Paterson in the event the court rules against him. Professor Hellerstein told the Times
, “Any opinion that comes down that might rule against the governor could be properly viewed as a slap-down of the governor… Cases that go the heart of a government structure and that involve separation of powers are cases in which judges would like to have unanimity. These are the kinds of cases that if one can get unanimity, they can have greater acceptance in the body politic.”Read
the full article.