Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Group Files Lawsuit to Block Extension of Term Limits

New York Times, By FERNANDA SANTOS, November 10, 2008

Elected officials, aspiring politicians, public interest groups and average citizens who voted to establish term limits in New York in the 1990s filed a federal lawsuit on Monday challenging the constitutionality of a law signed by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg last week that extended the limit from a maximum of two terms in office to three.

From left, William C. Thompson Jr., Charles Barron, Letitia James and Norman Siegel were among those who filed the suit. The suit charges that the mayor and the City Council seized upon the economic downturn as an excuse to undo the term limits law that had been affirmed by voters twice through referendum, in 1993 and 1996, and that it did so with imprudent speed.

Among the people suing Michael Bloomberg and the City Council to block them from extending term limits is attorney Norman Siegel, who said there may be “an implicit restraint” applicable to changing a law legislatively that was created by a public referendum, such as term limits