Opening remarks at the Kings County Courthouse were made Monday afternoon, as a group of City officials and activists challenged the Mayor-led, Council approved initiative to grant sitting elected officials an additional four years in office. The legislation, which was signed into law two months ago, directly contradicts two public referendums that established the two-term limit.
The legal challenge claims that by signing the legislation into law without a third public referendum, the City Council and Mayor’s office effectively took away voters’ freedom of speech, and that any such law would be unconstitutional.
The lawsuit was filed in November, and seeks to invalidate the law and further seek that the court’s declaration that a fundamental change in term limit law be put to a public referendum. The case has been assigned to Judge Charles Sifton.
Councilman Bill de Blasio, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, issued a statement after arguments were heard.
“The facts clearly show that the actions by the Mayor and the Council violated federal, state, and local laws,” he said. “This issue, and the fight to uphold justice for the voters, has resonated with New Yorkers like no other in recent memory. There is still time to put a referendum on the ballot for this spring should we be granted that opportunity, and so we hope that Judge Sifton will issue his opinion quickly.”
Judge Sifton has announced that he will issue his opinion on the case at a later date.