Friday, February 19, 2010

Monserrate Loses Legal Challenge To Expulsion

Hiram Monserrate's request for a temporary stay of the Senate's resolution to expel him has been denied by US District Court Judge William Pauley, the DN's Alison Gendar reports.

During a hearing on Monserrate's case yesterday, Pauley was skeptical of the legal arguments put forth by the ex-senator's team of attorneys, who maintained (among other things) that the voters of his district would be disenfranchised if denied the right to decide for themselves whether Monserrate could keep his seat.

I spoke to Monserrate's attorney Norman Siegel this morning and at that point he said it wasn't clear if Monserrate would appeal if he lost this round.

UPDATE: Here's a link to Pauley's opinion, which appears in full after the jump.

"While this Court concludes it has no legal basis to preliminarily enjoin the decision of the Senate, a 'fundamental principle of our representative democracy is, in (Alexander) Hamilton's words, 'that the people should choose whom they please to govern them,'" Pauley wrote.

"...Thus, the March 16 special election furthers the goals of Plaintiffs' current application to protect the voters of the 13th Senatorial District more effectively than judicial intervention."

In short, Pauley to Monserrate: You want to keep your seat? Run for it.

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