Observer intern Glenna Goldis reports from hearing on the petition filed this morning by two Council members with the State Supreme Court:
City Council members Bill de Blasio and Letitia James sought a temporary injunction to block the Council’s term-limits vote tomorrow on the grounds that it is a conflict of interest.
(Some opponenets of the legislation have argued that the City Council can’t ethically vote on the legislation because if it passes, it will benefit them. The Conflict of Interest Board ruled that the Council could hold the vote.)
Judge Jacqueline Winter Silbermann focused on the issue of whether a court may restrain a legislative body from voting. She will announce her decision at 4:15.
A lawyer from the New York City Law Department argued that the Conflict of Interest Board’s ruling was sound and that “Council members are elected to make these decisions,” referring to the decision to extend term limits for all citywide offices.
Judge Silbermann interrupted, “So was I.”
Precedent for this type of action nationwide is scant.
Whichever party loses will likely appeal and be heard by the Appellate Division this evening.
UPDATE: Glenna texts from the courtroom, “Denied bc no harm to plantiffs.”