Election 2008 Symposium Commences at Albany Law School

Robert Magee, Staff Writer, RMagee@albanylaw.edu

     The Election 2008 Symposium, an event hosted by 11 Albany Law School student groups and the school itself, brought together by the Albany Government Law Review’s own Ali Chaudhry, began with a discussion on voting rights and the suppression thereof, delivered by the Honorable Corey Ellis, representative of Albany’s Third Ward            

     The Election 2008 Symposium is an attempt to bring together Albany politicos, professors, activists, activists, officials and all-around personalities to discuss the presidential election as surrogates for national presidential campaigns that have either banked on or abandoned New York State in any event largely ignored it.  

     The crowd this morning at 9:30 a.m. was disappointing. There were about 25 people in attendance, including organizers, attendees and speakers. This might have had to do with conflicting class schedules or the relatively early hour, but it was hard to escape wondering whether it was a lack of interest not just in the election put in politics generally when compared to the daily toil of career-making which is the penultimate task of the average law student. Whatever its cause, their absence caused the organizers to mill about nervously at the head of the Dean Alexander Moot Courtroom, brief looks of relief flashing across their faces as people tickled in, and delaying the start for as long as possible in the hopes that the late rush would arrive. Continue reading “Election 2008 Symposium Commences at Albany Law School”

Bloomberg’s Third Term

Daniel Katz, Staff Writer, dkatz@albanylaw.edu

     Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently created a big controversy in New York City with his proposal to increase term limits for city offices from two terms to three terms.1 Voters originally approved term limits by an amendment to the City Charter in 1993, and it was ratified again in 1996 when the Council placed a ballot question – seeking to extend the term limits to three terms from two, just like the Council is trying to do now.2 

     The current law states that “the time elected officials can serve in office is limited to not more than eight consecutive years, so that they are ‘citizen representatives’ responsive to the needs of the people and not career politicians.”3 The law also states that elected officials may not serve more than two full consecutive terms in office.4 

     There are three possible ways to amend the New York City Charter. The method that was used to implement term limits was a voter initiated referendum.5 The second, and more usual method, is for the City Council or the mayor to appoint aCharter Revision Commission, which would then place the amended Charter on the ballot for voter approval.6 The third method of amending the City Charter is to have the state legislature amend the Municipal Home Rule Law and supercede the limits as laid out in the Charter.7  Continue reading “Bloomberg’s Third Term”