New York’s top court has upheld Gov. David Paterson’s power to appoint a lieutenant governor, reversing a lower court’s decision.
Paterson’s lawyers argued that a provision of state law allows the governor to fill vacancies, including Paterson’s July 8 appointment of Richard Ravitch.
Paterson tapped Ravitch to help break a monthlong Senate leadership struggle. Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos filed a lawsuit challenging his authority to make the appointment.
Lieutenant governors in New York appear on a ticket with the gubernatorial candidate and are elected. But the lieutenant governor’s post had been empty since Paterson stepped up to replace Eliot Spitzer, who resigned last year amid a prostitution scandal.
The court ruling was released Tuesday.