Major Development in New York Abortion Laws

( – On Tuesday, New York Supreme Court Justice Daniel Doyle (R) tossed out the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) which would codify abortion rights and provide protection against discrimination. 

Doyle in his ruling argued that the ruling had not passed following the right procedure. He pointed out that any amendment to the constitution would need to strictly adhere to the will of the people. 

This is a blow to the Democrats who have been trying to increase voter turnout ahead of the November election by boosting this issue. New Yorkers are going to be voting on a number of House seats that are considered very competitive and could be instrumental in determining the party that would have control of the lower chamber. 

New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) in a statement noted that they would be appealing the ruling. As she argued, the Amendment was looking to advance the fundamental rights of people in the case, including access to abortion and reproductive cases. 

State Assembly member Marjorie Byrnes (R) who brought forward the lawsuit pointed out that according to the rules the legislature can any potential amendment would need to pass through the chamber twice, from separately elected legislative sessions before voters get to make a decision on it. The formal opinion of the state attorney general’s office about the constitutionality of the law.

However, in the case of this amendment, the opinion was only given after the first vote. The Democrats have pointed out that amendments have passed using similar processes. 

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