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Judge Blocks Paterson's Lt. Gov Appointment

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A judge has issued a restraining order blocking Richard Ravitch from serving as Governor Paterson's lieutenant governor, until the constitutionality of Ravitch's appointment can be determined. WNYC's Isaac-Davy Aronson has more.

REPORTER: Paterson appointed Ravitch earlier this month as a way of breaking the month long leadership deadlock in the state Senate. The governor argues that a provision of the state Public Officers Law allows him to fill vacant posts until the next election. But Senate attorneys say the state constitution doesn't allow for the appointment of a lieutenant governor.

State Supreme Court Justice William LaMarca in Nassau County sided with the Senate, calling it a rare case in which a preliminary injunction against a Governor's action is appropriate.

LaMarca ruled that since Ravitch may have been illegally appointed, for him to preside over the Senate, or ascend to the governorship should something happen to Paterson, would cause irreparable harm. He scheduled another hearing on the issue for August 25th. For WNYC, I'm Isaac-Davy Aronson

REPORTER: Paterson's office says the appointment of Ravitch is legally sound, and the administration will appeal the injunction today.

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