Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New York Trial Court Lets Open Meeting Challenge To Same-Sex Marriage Law Continue

In New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedom v. New York State Senate, (NY Sup. Ct. Livingston Co., Nov. 18, 2011), a New York trial court refused to dismiss a challenge to the procedures used by the New York legislature in enacting the Marriage Equality Act that legalizes same-sex marriage.  The court held that the complaint presents a justiciable issue as to whether the Senate violated New York's Open Meetings Law when the governor held a meeting with all the Republican members of the Senate to attempt to convince them to break their party's opposition to the bill and vote for it. The court dismissed a challenge to the governor's certification that waived the requirement that a bill be presented to legislators at least three days before a vote, even though, in the court's view the governor's statement of necessity for a more rapid vote was "logically and clearly ... disingenuous." LIberty Counsel issued a release calling the decision "a victory for the people of New York and a setback to the political arm-twisters who tried to thwart the open meetings process." (See prior related posting.)