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Friday, June 14, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Court Backs NYC Law Repealing Term Limits

(CN) - A law repealing New York City's term limits does not the First Amendment rights of voters and potential challengers, the 2nd Circuit ruled. The ruling clears the path for Michael Bloomberg to serve a third term as city mayor.

The dispute centered on Local Law 51, passed by the city council and signed into law by Mayor Bloomberg on Nov. 3, 2008. It allowed city council members, the mayor, the public advocate, the comptroller and borough presidents to serve up to three consecutive terms in office.

Notably, it amended parts of the city charter that were enacted by a city-wide referendum in 1993, limiting officials to two consecutive terms.

A group of elected officials, voters and individuals who planned to run for office in November 2009 challenged the measure as a violation of federal, state and city law. They accused Bloomberg, city council Speaker Christine Quinn and other incumbent officials of passing the law in order to give themselves the opportunity to run for another term in office. They also claimed the law violated the will of the people by unraveling the term limits imposed by a voter referendum.

The federal appeals court in New York agreed with U.S. District Judge Charles Sifton that there are no constitutional hurdles to allowing Bloomberg and others to run for a third term.

The court ruled that absent a legal flaw or constitutional violation, "It is not the role of this court to interject itself into city politics."

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