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New York Supreme Court Strikes Down Dem-Passed Law Allowing Non-Citizens to Vote

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


The New York state Supreme Court has ruled that non-citizens can not vote in local elections.

Earlier this year, New York City’s City Council approved a measure to give non-citizens the right to vote in local elections.

Republican lawmakers filed a lawsuit against the measure and the New York Supreme Court ruled that non-citizens do not have the right to vote.

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The plan would have added roughly 800,000 New Yorkers to the voting rolls and would have allowed them to vote for mayor, public advocate, city council, borough presidents, and school boards.

Justice Ralph Porzio called the law illegal, saying it violated the New York State Constitution.

“The New York State Constitution expressly states that citizens meeting the age and residency requirements are entitled to register and vote in elections,” he said.

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“Though voting is a right so many citizens take for granted, the City of New York cannot ‘obviate’ the restrictions imposed by the Constitution,” Porzio continued, going on to say that “the weight of the citizens’ vote will be diluted by municipal voters and candidates and political parties alike will need to reconfigure their campaigns.”

In striking down the law, Porzio said that “Though Plaintiffs have not suffered harm today, the harm they will suffer is imminent.”

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Staten Island City Councilman Joe Brelli applauded the ruling, saying: “Today’s decision validates those of us who can read the plain English words of our state constitution and state statutes: Noncitizen voting in New York is illegal, and shame on those who thought they could skirt the law for political gain. Opposition to this measure was bipartisan and cut across countless neighborhood and ethnic lines, yet progressives chose to ignore both our constitution and public sentiment in order to suit their aims. I commend the court in recognizing reality and reminding New York’s professional protestor class that the rule of law matters.”

Borelli had opposed the bill at the time, saying that “Someone who has lived here for 30 days will have a say in how we raise our taxes, our debt and long-term pension liabilities. These are things people who are temporary residents should not have a say in.”

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Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a New York law that placed strict restrictions on carrying concealed firearms in public for self-defense.

The court ruled 6-3 in favor of gun rights, which many have argued is the widest expansion of gun rights in more than a decade.

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Justice Clarence Thomas delivered the majority opinion, writing that New York’s “proper-cause requirement” prevented law-abiding citizens from exercising their Second Amendment right, and its licensing regime is unconstitutional.

“The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not ‘a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees,'” Thomas wrote. “We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need. That is not how the First Amendment works when it comes to unpopular speech or the free exercise of religion. It is not how the Sixth Amendment works when it comes to a defendant’s right to confront the witnesses against him. And it is not how the Second Amendment works when it comes to public carry for self-defense.”

New York Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul whined after the ruling: “It is outrageous that at a moment of national reckoning on gun violence, the Supreme Court has recklessly struck down a New York law that limits those who can carry concealed weapons.”

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