A New York judge has thrown out a law previously enacted by the New York City council that would have given local voting rights to approximately 800,000 or more non-U.S. citizens.
The measure known as Local Law 11 of 2022 or the Municipal Voting Law, which was approved by the city council in December on a 33-14 vote, required a mere 30-days of residence by green-card holders or permanent legal residents to qualify to get on the Big Apple’s voter rolls.
Common sense suggests that the open-ended nature of the eligibility requirement could result in some degree of fraud.
Mayor Eric Adams, who had said he was generally supportive with some misgivings, allowed the bill, which was set to take effect in January 2023, to become law without his signature. Before he left office on December 31, even far-left Mayor Bill de Blasio also declined to either sign or or veto it.
As BPR previously observed, legal challenges were likely to an election law change that critics viewed as a Democrat power grab in a city that is already overwhelmingly blue.
Newly elected NYC Mayor Eric Adams allows 800,000 non-citizens to vote in local elections https://t.co/wT9TEqSk8Z
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) January 10, 2022
Leaving no ambiguity in a 13-page ruling issued on Monday, Staten Island Judge Ralph J. Porzio in the Supreme Court (which, in New York, is actually a lower trial court) declared the New York City law illegal, null, and void because it violated the state’s constitution, and other laws on the books.
The judge also issued a permanent injunction, which tends to be an extraordinary remedy, that prevents the defendants, which consisted of Adams, the city’s board of elections, and the city council, from registering noncitizens to vote.
The judge concluded his decision as follows:
The New York State Constitution expressly states that citizens meeting the age and residency requirements are entitled to register and vote in elections. The New York State Election Law reaffirms that citizens meeting the age and residency requirements are entitled to register and vote in elections. There is no statutory ability for the City of New York to issue inconsistent laws permitting non-citizens to vote and exceed the authority granted to it by the New York State Constitution. Though voting is a right that so many citizens take for granted, the City of New York cannot “obviate” the restrictions imposed by the Constitution.
The entire opinion is embedded below.
The Adams administration could appeal this ruling, and an Adams spokesman told The New York Times that the mayor’s team is “evaluating next steps.”
Reacting to the legal win via a statement, City Council minority leader Joe Borelli, a Staten Island Republican who was one of the plaintiffs in the case, said that “Today’s decision validates those of us who can read the plain English words of our state constitution and state statutes: non-citizen 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.”
— Joe Borelli (@JoeBorelliNYC) June 27, 2022
“The Republican National Committee and New York Republican State Committee joined a group of officeholders and individual voters who sued city officials over the law,” Fox News explained about the legal challenge.
Various GOP officials and others are lauding the decision. Here is just a sample:
Today, a New York City court struck down the Democrats’ radical scheme that would allow over 800,000 non-citizens to vote in NYC elections.
This ruling is a huge victory for election integrity and the rule of law: American elections should be decided by American citizens. (1/2)
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) June 27, 2022
Voting is a sacred right of US citizens. Today, a NY Supreme Court Judge correctly reaffirmed that right and put an end to NYC’s new noncitizen voting law. No way should noncitizens be allowed to vote!
— Lee Zeldin (@leezeldin) June 27, 2022
Democrats broke the law by gerrymandering Congressional, Senate, and Assembly districts. They lost in court.
Democrats ignored our Constitution attempting to allow noncitizens to vote.
They lost in court again.
— Tina Forte for Congress (@TinaForteUSA) June 27, 2022
Good news for citizens of New York!
Worth noting the Supreme Court is not the highest court in the state so this will likely continue to the Court of Appeals.
N.Y. Supreme Court strikes down NYC law granting voting rights to noncitizen residentshttps://t.co/Vwjy0cle6C
— Erin Perrine (@ErinMPerrine) June 27, 2022
N.Y. Supreme Court strikes down NYC law letting non-citizen vote- I wrote in January that the NYC law cheapens U.S. citizenship and undermines the efforts legal immigrants have taken to become naturalized U.S. citizens. https://t.co/hM6ITCrcPu https://t.co/p5yMPGtYPd
— Helen Raleigh (@HRaleighspeaks) June 27, 2022
When the state constitution says up front that “citizens” can vote, this ruling is no surprise https://t.co/HCURjT6PhX
— Seth Barron (@SethBarronNYC) June 27, 2022
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