The New York Law Journal -Judge Refuses to Intervene In Senate Leadership Fight

The New York Law Journal -Judge Refuses to Intervene In Senate Leadership Fight

By Joel Stashenko
June 17, 2009

ALBANY – A state judge refused to intervene yesterday in a leadership fight that has paralyzed the Senate, reiterating that the feuding parties should settle their own differences.

Acting Supreme Court Justice Thomas J. McNamara of Albany ruled that the imbroglio, which has two 31-senator factions each recognizing different presidents pro tem, is a “wholly internal” matter for the Senate to resolve.

“A judicially imposed resolution would be an improvident intrusion into the internal workings of a co-equal branch of government,” Justice McNamara wrote in Smith v. Espada, 4912-09. “The practical effect of having a court decide this issue would be that its decision, if only by perception, would have an influence on the internal workings of the Senate including the setting of the Senate agenda. To have a court decide this issue would be improper.”

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