Clarence Thomas and crew ain’t the only judges snatching away rights in these streets.
Not to be outdone by the gutting of women’s right to an abortion at the federal level, a judge from New York’s whitest borough on Monday struck down a state law that would have given about 800,000 noncitizens the right to vote in New York City elections. The measure passed in New York’s majority Democratic city council in December but wouldn’t take effect until January 2023, the New York Times reported. But that won’t happen now, at least not without an appeal.
On Monday, New York State Supreme Court Justice Ralph J. Porzio, from Staten Island, ruled that the law violated provisions in the state’s constitution that dictate only U.S. citizens can vote in elections. Changing it would mean putting such a measure to a statewide vote, even though the law in question would have only impacted New York City’s five boroughs.
Opponents of the law argued before its passage that it would lead to votes by people who weren’t legally in the country. But the measure actually applied to immigrants who have green cards or were permanent legal residents. In New York City, which has millions of immigrants, the ban on voting means that hundreds of thousands of long-term residents, students, taxpayers and business owners can’t vote in elections that determine representation and policy that impacts them. Many of them are Black or Hispanic.
Even though New York—both the city and the state—are considered left-leaning areas, voting rights have been a big political issue there. In last week, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a law that prohibits New York municipalities from passing laws that could limit voting rights on the basis of race.