Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

Bill de Blasio & Tish James Suing on Term Limits Vote

October 25th, 2008 · 3 Comments

One suspects there will be multiple legal challenges to the City Council’s vote this week to change terms limits. Whether any have a chance or the real issue will be voter’s response next year is another matter. In the meantime, Mr. de Blasio’s office sent out out word that “In response to yesterday’s City Council vote to extend term limits, Councilmembers de Blasio and James have authorized their lawyers to prepare a lawsuit to challenge the legality of changing voter-ratified term limits by legislation. State law, local law and voting rights guaranteed under the US Constitution require a mandatory referendum on this issue.” They are also pursuing action within the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Justice Department. Formal filing of any suits will have await an actual Mayoral signature on the bill, but this is a formality.

The two Councilmembers have also authorized their lawyers to take whatever steps necessary with the Civil Rights Division of the US Justice Department and the courts to review the legal infirmities and
adverse impacts on minority participation that will result from this major change by legislation to our local electoral system.

In both instances they will await the Mayor’s signing of the bill into law, but absent an epiphany of conscience on the Mayor’s part, they expect to go forward on both of those fronts. Councilmembers de Blasio and James have also authorized their lawyers to continue to pursue claims that yesterday’s vote blatantly violated local conflict of interest laws.

Councilmember de Blasio said: “I am deeply disappointed by the outcome of yesterday’s vote. Public involvement in the democratic process must not be taken lightly, or treated as some kind of “luxury.” New Yorkers twice voiced their opinions on term limits, and yesterday their will was subverted. Today marks the beginning of a process to reverse the great wrong that was committed at City Hall and to restore New Yorkers’ faith in government.”

Councilmember James said: “The vote taken by the City Council yesterday represents a great step backward for democracy. Not only did our government completely disregard the will of the people, but its actions were illegal. The New Yorkers who elected us to represent them deserve better, and I will fight for them.”

Tags: Term Limits

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 deborah matlack // Oct 25, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    Good for them, I totally support councilmembers deBlasio and James. The whole thing makes me ill. I voted twice on a referendum for term limits, voters should have the right to another referendum if the Mayor wants to run again. I was glad to discover that Vincent Gentile, councilmember for Bay Ridge where I live, voted against the bill. I’m grateful that there are honorable people on the City Council.

  • 2 Bloomberg-sick // Oct 26, 2008 at 2:15 am

    Bloombergs’ power play has been transparent and despicable! I sure hope karma bites him in his -ss big time come election time! The voters must remember to remember! DeBlasio is hardly a political maverick but he’s right-on in this case.
    Let the law suits begin!

  • 3 Phil // Oct 26, 2008 at 10:00 am

    I was never a supporter for term limits. But I also do not support what the City Council did. The voters of NYC have been screwed. This is an incredibly anti-democratic thing to do. After this takeover of city government by one of its wealthiest oligarchs, I think I just might support the original law of two terms.