After deliberating since Wednesday, Judge William R. LaMarca thinks there’s a “likelihood of success on the merits for their claim that neither the Constitution nor legislative enactment authorized the governor to make the appointment,” and so has approved a request to bar Richard Ravitch from performing the duties of his alleged office. Ravitch was appointed by Governor Paterson during the height of the Coup to address succession issues that swirled as Malcolm Smith and Pedro Espada, neither of them particularly suitable, each claimed to be Paterson’s heir to the office in an emergency.
There has been much Constitutional contention over the appointment with Paterson’s lawyers claiming he had the right to appoint Ravitch and attorney general Andrew Cuomo claiming he did not. When Paterson said he was going to go ahead anyway, former Albany Coup conspirators Dean Skelos and Espada rushed to the Republican-friendly LaMarca in Republican Nassau County to get a temporary restraining order against it, but Ravitch was sworn in secretly at Peter Luger. The issue then became Ravitch’s assumption of duties, and last night’s ruling pushes the matter to Appeal Court, where Paterson’s forces will sue for his installment.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 22, 2009