Paterson Names Lt. Gov to Break NY Senate Standoff

GOP gets court order suspending move
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 9, 2009 8:25 AM CDT
New York Gov. David Paterson speaks at a news conference at the Capitol in Albany, NY, on Tuesday, June 30, 2009.   (AP Photo/Tim Roske)
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(Newser) – In a desperate play to break the weeks-long deadlock in the New York State Senate, David Paterson last night named a lieutenant governor, who could preside over the hamstrung body and cast tie-breaking votes. But Republicans say they’ve obtained a court order suspending the beleaguered governor's appointment. Richard Ravitch, a 76-year-old Democratic lawyer and former head of the MTA, would also serve as a successor to Paterson if the governor couldn't serve, the New York Times reports. But the legality of the appointment is dubious.

Ravitch says he was sworn in last night, according to the AP. But the state Constitution doesn’t say how the post should be filled if vacant, and Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic attorney general, says the governor doesn’t have the legal right to name a lieutenant governor, calling the move “a political ploy that would wind through the courts for many months.”