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NY Court Rules Paterson Can Appoint Ravitch

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

In a narrow, 4-3 decision, New York’s highest court has ruled Governor Paterson has the authority to appoint Richard Ravitch as his lieutenant governor. Karen Dewitt has more.

One Pataki appointee on the Court of Appeals, Judge Susan Read, sided with three judges chosen by Democratic governors to rule in favor of Governor Paterson's decision to choose his own lieutenant governor. Siena College pollster Steve Greenberg says it's welcome news for Paterson.

"This will give him a victory to talk about, rather than another defeat to try to defend," said Greenberg.

Senate GOP leader Dean Skelos, who brought the suit, said in a statement that the court has allowed an unelected governor to chose an unelected lieutenant governor, and he said that precedent is "dangerous to democracy".

The decision was a bit of good news for Governor Paterson, coming a day after a highly-scrutinized visit from President Obama, and a weekend of reports that White House officials were urging Paterson to pull out of the 2010 governor's race.

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