We publish the objective news, period. If you want the facts, then sign up below and join our movement for objective news:


Latest News

New York Court Rejects State Ballot's Equal Rights Amendment

 May 8, 2024

In a decisive ruling on Tuesday, a New York State Supreme Court justice declared the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) unfit for the upcoming November ballot.

Justice Daniel Doyle's decision blocked the amendment, which included reproductive rights, from voter consideration, The Hill reported.

The ERA, aiming to embed reproductive rights and anti-discrimination measures into the New York Constitution, hit a judicial roadblock this week. State Supreme Court Justice Daniel Doyle from Western New York found procedural faults in the legislative process that brought the ERA close to public voting.

Justice Doyle emphasized the need for strict procedural compliance when amending the Constitution, noting that the processes followed by the state Legislature fell short of rigorous standards.

Last year, the New York Legislature passed the ERA, but specific legislative steps needed to advance the amendment were scrutinized and ultimately led to its dismissal from the ballot.

Impact of the ERA Ruling on Voter Turnout

The absence of the ERA from the ballot is seen as a significant blow to Democrats, who had hoped to use the amendment to energize voters. Reproductive rights, a key aspect of the ERA, were expected to boost turnout, especially in crucial House elections.

Opposition to the ERA was spearheaded by State Assemblymember Marjorie Byrnes, a Republican, who argued that the procedural steps taken were insufficient.

This legal challenge subjected the legislative process to closer legal scrutiny. New York's legal framework for amending its constitution is rigorous, requiring any amendment to pass twice in the legislative chambers across different sessions, along with an advisory opinion from the state attorney general before the second vote—a step contested in the lawsuit.

Reactions from Political Figures and Future Actions

New York Attorney General Letitia James expressed disappointment with the ruling and plans to appeal, stating, "The Equal Rights Amendment was advanced to protect fundamental rights like reproductive freedom and access to abortion care," highlighting its significance for New Yorkers' rights.

Meanwhile, Ed Cox, the State GOP Chair, criticized Democrats for their handling of the amendment process, citing legislative urgency leading to oversight and inadequate public consultation.

Justice Doyle's ruling emphasized that 'substantial compliance' with constitutional amendment processes isn't sufficient, underscoring the need for absolute precision in following legal procedures to amend the Constitution.

Contentious Aspects of the Equal Rights Amendment

While the ERA aimed primarily to prevent discrimination based on pregnancy and reproductive health, it also addressed contentious issues like transgender health and sports participation.

Republicans, led by Cox, worry the ERA might grant minors too much autonomy in gender-related health decisions and disrupt traditional gender divisions in sports.

Despite controversies, Democrats emphasize the ERA's reproductive health aspect to rally their base and stress its importance in safeguarding individual rights.

Legal and Political Implications of the Ruling

The ERA's judicial rejection impacts both the political landscape and sets a precedent for constitutional amendments in the state, highlighting the judiciary's role in ensuring legislative alignment with constitutional requirements.

This ruling may shape public opinion and voter engagement in upcoming elections, affecting both parties' strategies for November. As the appeal progresses, attention turns to the courts and the legislature, as the decision could have broad implications for New York's political and legal framework.

Conclusion: The ERA's Broader Impact on New York's Political Scene

In conclusion, the ruling against the ERA marks a pivotal moment in New York politics, revealing deep divisions on reproductive rights and discrimination issues.

As the legal battle persists, its outcome is expected to echo beyond the November elections, shaping future legislative and judicial proceedings.