Court Rules Governor Paterson Can’t Appoint a Lieutenant Governor


It seems like a long time ago that Governor Paterson, in the midst of the stalemate in Albany, made his ballsy decision to appoint former MTA chief Richard Ravitch to the vacant lieutenant governor position. And it was! But only now have the courts ruled on the legality of the move, which was questioned by numerous constitutional scholars despite its generally widespread support among the press. Unfortunately for Paterson, what was basically his most popular action through the entire Albany mess was deemed illegal by a state appeals court today. “The governor’s purported appointment of Mr. Ravitch was unlawful because no provision of the Constitution or of any statute provides for the filling of the vacancy in the office of lieutenant governor other than by election,” the unanimous four-judge ruling said. Not a ton of wiggle room in that one. Paterson was looking forward to Ravitch’s counsel, and Ravitch was eager to give back to New York, but he probably won’t be too upset about the decision; he’s said that if his appointment was rejected, he’d get to spend more time with grandchildren.

Court Rejects Ravitch Appointment [City Room/NYT]