Other Explainers

Moore v. Harper: May State Laws Concerning Federal Elections Be Subject to State Judicial Review?

Among the most important cases the Supreme Court of the United States will hear this term is Moore v. Harper. The issue squarely presented is whether state courts have the authority to consider any claim relating to an action taken by a state legislature that concerns federal elections. The decision might also affect the mechanism for choosing electors from the states to the electoral college. This is possibly the most significant election case ever heard by the Court.

Explaining the Ethics Commission Reform Act of 2022

Since 1954, ethics enforcement in New York has been tenuous. In July, the New York Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government became the State’s latest ethics oversight agency. This explainer examines the structure and responsibilities of the new commission—and the 2022 law that created it.

White v. Cuomo: What Comes Next After Daily Fantasy Sports Gambling in New York?

According to the Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association, over 30 million Americans play daily fantasy sports (DFS). With the National Football League season starting, and Major League Baseball still in full swing, this explainer explores what comes next after the New York Court of Appeals’ March 2022 decision on the validity of daily fantasy sports gambling. The Court determined that skill predominates chance in DFS and, therefore, contests are not subject to the state’s historic prohibition on gambling.

Name, Image, and Likeness Legislation Reaches New York State

In 2022, the New York State legislature passed a bill authorizing name, image, and likeness (NIL) rights for college student-athletes. Governor Kathy Hochul signed the legislation on November 21, 2022. With the passage and signing of the bill, New York State has become one of approximately 30 states that have passed NIL legislation. This explainer explores the factors that led to the emergence of the NIL issue, the role of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and implications for schools and student-athletes in New York.

New York’s New Constitutional Environmental Bill of Rights: Impact and Implications

On November 2, 2021, New York voters approved an Amendment to the State Constitution’s Bill of Rights providing that: “Each person shall have the right to clean air and water, and to a healthful environment.” In those sixteen words, the right to a healthy environment was, for the first time, cloaked in constitutional protection in New York and deemed the equivalent to the sixteen current constitutional guarantees in the state Bill of Rights. Those rights include freedom of speech, trial by jury, religious liberty, habeas corpus, compensation for taking of private property, equal protection of law, and security against unreasonable searches and seizure.

There has been considerable commentary on the potential impact of the new Amendment, commonly referred to as the “Green Amendment.” The question yet unresolved is whether the Green Amendment will be no more than an abstract statement of a societal desire or a meaningful mechanism for citizens to safeguard their environment. This explainer outlines several facets of that question.  

The New York Law Revision Commission: Past and Present

The New York Law Revision Commission was created by statute as a permanent commission dedicated exclusively to systematic law reform.

The Commission is part of New York’s rich legal history and is the longest continuously operating commission of its kind in the United States, setting an example that was later followed by other states and other countries.

Let’s Not Waste the Cuomo Crisis

Winston Churchill’s putative admonition never to let a good crisis go to waste may be in danger of falling on deaf ears in New York State. With no need or legal ability to impeach former governor Andrew Cuomo, any opportunity to reform the process of removing or appointing a statewide official may have been squandered. Additionally, with little prospect of a public forum for the airing of the charges and witnesses against Governor Cuomo, there may be limited ability for the public to assess the validity and the significance of the charges against the former governor. All we are likely to have are summary reports of how individual investigators viewed the evidence against Governor Cuomo.