New York Dems dealt massive blow when appeals court strikes down law allowing non-citizens to vote

A law that New York City progressives passed in 2022 that would have allowed roughly 800,000 non-citizens to vote in local elections was struck down by an appeals court as unconstitutional on Wednesday.

“We determine that this local law was enacted in violation of the New York State Constitution and Municipal Home Rule Law, and thus, must be declared null and void,” Appellate Judge Paul Wooten wrote in the 3-1 majority decision, according to the New York Post.

The judge noted that the state constitution applies only to citizens having the right to vote in municipal as well as statewide elections for state legislative offices.

“Article IX provides that the elected officials of ‘local governments’ shall be elected by ‘the people,’ which incorporates by reference the eligibility requirements for voting under article II, section 1, applying exclusively to ‘citizens,’” Wooten wrote in his decision.

(Video Credit: FOX 5 New York)

“The decision upholds a lower court ruling issued by Staten Island Supreme Court Justice Ralph Porzio in June 2022, which Mayor Eric Adams and the City Council had appealed,” the New York Post reported.

“Writing for the Appellate Division’s 2nd Department, Wooten said that if noncitizens are allowed to vote, it stands to reason they could also run for mayor,” the media outlet added. “He ruled that such a dramatic change violated the Municipal Home Rule Law, saying the council and mayor had failed to put the issue on the ballot for voters to decide.”

“Progressive Democrats put their full support behind the law, dubbed by them as the ‘Our City, Our Vote’ bill that they claim would make elections more inclusive for the city’s massive non-citizen and migrant population. Republicans largely opposed the law, claiming that it would create massive voter fraud and only serve to give Democrats a win by bolstering their base in elections,” the Daily Caller wrote.

Judges Helen Voutsinas and Angela Iannacci concurred while Judge Lilian Wan dissented.

“The majority, by deeming the noncitizen voting law invalid, effectively prohibits municipalities across the state from deciding for themselves the persons who are entitled to a voice in the local electoral process,” Wan contended. “The majority’s determination also disenfranchises nearly one million residents of the City, despite the fact that its people’s duly elected representatives have opted to enfranchise those same residents.”

The lead plaintiff in the case was Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella. He was joined by Assemblyman Michael Tannousis (R-Staten Island) and others.

“During a time where nearly 200,000 migrants have flooded our city and streets, disrupting the public and attacking our police officers, my colleagues and I have worked tirelessly to protect our voting laws which were created for citizens of the United States,” Tannousis declared according to the New York Post. “Democracy always wins and I am proud to say it was delivered yet again today.”

Other Republicans were pleased with the decision as well.

The New York Post reported that US Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) was thrilled with the ruling.

“There is nothing more important than preserving the integrity of our election system, and in today’s age, the government should be working to create more trust in our elections, not less,” she asserted.

“The right to vote is a sacred right given only to United States citizens. It is my hope that left-wing lawmakers stop pushing these unconstitutional and reckless measures that dilute the voices of American citizens,” Malliotakis remarked.

“I won baby, I won,” Council Republican leader Joe Borelli, one of the plaintiffs, proclaimed in an interview with Politico on Wednesday. “This was an easy case. All they had to do was read the state constitution and municipal law. The criticism falls on the proponents of the bill.”

The decision incensed progressives.

“The lawsuit remains another shameful attempt by xenophobic Republicans who would disenfranchise residents rather than promote a more inclusive and participatory democracy,” NYIC Executive Director Murad Awawdeh for the New York Immigration Coalition railed in a statement on Wednesday. “Immigrant New Yorkers deserve a say in how their local government functions and spends their tax money, and we remain committed to ensuring the expansion of voting rights.”

Democrats aren’t giving up.

“We’re reviewing the court’s decision and evaluating next steps,” a city Law Department spokesman announced indicating that they will continue the fight to allow illegal immigrants to vote.


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