Round-Up: Local and National Media React to NY SSM Ruling


Here's a round-up of the first-round of coverage:

Reuters: The state’s Open Meetings Law exempts “deliberations of political committees, conferences and caucuses,” which the state argued included the Senate’s meetings with Cuomo. The Christian group said Cuomo's presence made the meetings distinct from legislative conferences…“Clear arm-twisting by (Cuomo) on the legislature permeates this entire process,” Wiggins wrote in a November 18 decision allowing the group to proceed with the Open Meetings claim.

WSJ: A state judge criticized the state Senate and Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the legislative process that led to the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York and said a lawsuit challenging the measure could go forward, in ruling dated earlier this month.

Buffalo News: The judge said there could be a problem with a June closed-door meeting between Cuomo and Senate Republicans, which the plaintiffs -- New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms -- said was an arm-twisting session by the governor to get the GOP senators to back the bill.

NY Times: Harshly criticizing Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for the tactics he used to win approval of same-sex marriage, a state judge has ruled that a lawsuit challenging the enactment of New York’s Marriage Equality Act can proceed…Acting Justice Robert B. Wiggins of State Supreme Court in Livingston County, in the Finger Lakes region, wrote that it was possible that the Republican majority in the State Senate had violated the state’s open meetings law as it discussed whether to bring the marriage bill to a vote.

AP: A state judge has refused to dismiss a suit challenging the gay marriage law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in June, concluding there is an issue whether New York's open meetings law was violated…New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms and other opponents claim the law should be nullified because the state Senate Republican majority met illegally with Cuomo behind closed doors, where Cuomo sought support before the critical vote that led to its narrow passage.

WHEC: A lawsuit filed by a Spencerport group challenging New York’s same sex marriage law will move forward…Livingston County Judge Robert Wiggins says the issue is whether the state's open meetings law was violated. The suit filed by New Yorkers for constitutional freedoms contends that Governor Cuomo and senate republicans broke the law when they held a closed door conference just before the bill won narrow approval in June.

WHAM: A Livingston County State Supreme Court justice ruled that a lawsuit challenging New York's same-sex marriage law can continue….New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms argue that lawmakers violated the state's open meetings law. The lawsuit alleges Governor Andrew Cuomo and Republican lawmakers met behind closed doors to discuss the measure.

New York Daily News: “It is ironic that much of the state’s brief passionately spews sanctimonious verbiage on the separation of powers in the governmental branches, and clear arm-twisting by the Executive on the Legislative permeates this entire process,” Wiggins wrote.

Albany Times-Union: Wiggins, a Livingston County jurist, offers harsh criticism of the way things get done at the Capitol, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo's justification for issuing a "message of necessity" that rushed the legislation onto the Senate floor on the final evening of this year's session. Without that message, the bill would have had to age on lawmakers' desks for three days.

Baptist Press: New York law allows some legislative meetings to be closed, such as meetings that include only Democratic members or Republican members. But the fact that the meeting included members of both parties could have made it illegal, Wiggins indicated.