The ongoing stalemate in the New York State Senate has resulted in a flurry of activity - and speculation - among politicians, citizen advocates, pundits and other groups. As a result, media outlets across the state have turned to professors and attorneys at Albany Law School's Government Law Center to make sense of the legal aspects of the power struggle.
In a single day, Professor Patricia Salkin was interviewed on major network affiliates WNYT, WTEN and CBS-6 to comment on the constitutionality and implications of recent developments related to the state senate. She also provided legal expertise for a New York Now program that aired across the state, as well as in interviews with Newsday, American Lawyer magazine and the Albany Times Union.
Professor Salkin is the director of the Government Law Center and the school's Raymond and Ella Smith Distinguished Professor of Law. She has taught courses in government ethics, New York State administrative law, and current legal issues in government since joining the faculty in 1990.
Government Law Center Executive Director Bennett Liebman also served as a media resource, conducting interviews with The Buffalo News, the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin and the Times Union. In his Times Union interview, which covered the recent announcement that New York state's governor would appoint a lieutenant governor to break the stalemate, Liebman commented that "You can make a very literal argument that it's constitutional, but if you look at the history and the Constitution itself it's hard to argue that the governor has this power."
The Government Law Center of Albany Law School was established in 1978 to promote interdisciplinary study and research in government and the problems facing government; to introduce law students to methods of policy analysis and to public service; and to serve as a resource to all levels of government in the resolution of specific problems. It is the oldest government law center in the United States.