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New York Judge strikes controversial abortion ballot measure, will not appear on November ballot

by | May 8, 2024

By Dave Andrusko

On Tuesday New York State Supreme Court Justice Daniel Doyle “invalidated a ballot measure known as the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) that would have codified reproductive rights and protections against other discrimination into the state constitution,” Nathaniel Weixel reported for The Hill.

Judge Doyle found lawmakers incorrectly approved the language before first getting a written opinion from the attorney general.

“The legislature’s misstep, said Doyle: a failure to give the state’s attorney general time to issue an advisory opinion before the vote. The legislature’s quick vote “frustrated the deliberative process,” Laura Kusisto and Jimmy Vielkind reported for the Wall Street Journal.

“New York requires potential amendments to pass the chamber twice in different, separately elected legislative sessions before it gets put in front of voters,” according to Weixel. “The attorney general’s opinion is supposed to be given before that process can begin.”

“They were in such a rush and a frenzy” that they failed to follow this requirement, said Christian Browne, an attorney for the plaintiffs.

Republican state Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes filed the lawsuit.  Ed Cox, chairman of the New York Republican Party, hailed the ruling.

“In their rush to pass this amendment, the legislature never held a single hearing on the proposal, never consulted with outside constitutional experts, and falsely asserted this amendment was necessary to protect abortion rights in the state,” Cox said.

Pro-abortion New York Attorney General Letitia James said her office will appeal the ruling. “The Equal Rights Amendment was advanced to protect people’s fundamental rights like reproductive freedom and access to abortion care, James said in a statement. “The decision to strike the ERA from the ballot in November is disappointing, and we’re appealing to defend New Yorkers’ rights.”

Categories: Judicial