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Replacing New York’s Lieutenant Governor: Revisiting Skelos v. Paterson

Replacing New York’s Lieutenant Governor: Revisiting Skelos v. Paterson

Replacing New York’s Lieutenant Governor_675

In 2009, the Court of Appeals issued a controversial ruling upholding the right of then-Governor David Paterson to appoint his own lieutenant governor, Richard Ravitch, filling a vacancy created when Paterson ascended to the executive’s office after the resignation of disgraced former Governor Eliot Spitzer. At the time, state government was in crisis due to the infamous “Senate coup,” which deadlocked the chamber and made it unable to function. Ravitch’s appointment gave the Democrats a procedural tie-breaking vote in the chamber. The decision was hotly contested, challenged by the Senate Republicans, with legal and government experts weighing in on both sides. Fast forward to today, and a new governor – Kathy Hochul – has the opportunity to appoint a replacement for former Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin, who resigned in the face of a campaign finance scandal. Should she act or shouldn’t she? A distinguished panel whose members participated in the 2009 debate weighs in. 



Peter J. Kiernan, Senior Counsel, Venable LLP (was Governor Paterson’s counsel in 2009)

John Ciampoli, Messina Perillo Hill (was counsel to the Senate Republicans in 2009) 

Prof. Michael Hutter, Albany Law School (submitted an amicus brief opposed to the Ravitch appointment) 

Prof. Richard Briffault, Columbia Law School (wrote an amicus brief for Citizens Union of New York City in support of the Ravitch appointment)


Liz Benjamin, Marathon Strategies

Start Date:
  • April 28, 2022
Start Time:
  • 5:30 PM
End Time:
  • 7:00 PM
  • Virtual Participation
  • Webinar
Product Code:
  • MISC42822
Non-Member Price: Free
Sponsoring Committee Group
  • Committee on Continuing Legal Education
  • Committee on the New York State Constitution