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Lawsuit questioning actions of Gov. Cuomo, New York state Senate to proceed

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November 30, 2011

New York

Livingston County, New York: A New York state judge ruled that a lawsuit challenging New York's same sex marriage law may proceed. The lawsuit was brought by the New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedom against New York State Senate, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and the New York State Department of Health.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs argue the law was passed as a result of a combination of factors, from Senate meetings that violated New York State Open Meeting Laws to promises of campaign contributions for Republican senators who changed their vote. The suit also cites atypical procedures in the Senate, Governor Andrew Cuomo's waiving the constitutionally required three-day review period before a legislative vote, lobbyists and the general public being denied access to representatives, and private dinners at the Governor's mansion.[1]

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman had filed to have the suit dismissed, but on November 18, 2011, Livingston County Supreme Court judge Robert Wiggins decided there is at least enough evidence that the open meeting laws had been violated to proceed. He explains "... the Court must consider allegations by Plaintiff as true [and] considering Plaintiff's allegation, and without deciding matter at this time, the Court feels that is a justiciable issue presented whether there was a violation of the Open Meetings Law."[2]

Neither the office of the state attorney general nor a spokesperson for Gov. Cuomo commented on the ruling.[2]

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