- New York legislators overwhelmingly passed a bill in June allowing all federal district and appeals court judges to perform weddings in the state
- Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed it this week, saying he specifically wanted to deny the privilege to Donald Trump’s judicial appointees
- The U.S. Senate has confirmed 181 of Trump’s picks to those federal courts
- But a whopping 621 sitting judges at the district and appellate level got their posts through appointments from presidents who were Democrats
- Those include 313 of Barack Obama’s picks, 257 of Bill Clinton’s, 50 from the Jimmy Carter era and even one appointed by Lyndon Johnson
- Cuomo’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment about the trade-off
- Legislators, county executives, current and former mayors, and even leaders of the secular New York Society for Ethical Culture can marry people in New York
- Gov. Cuomo was granted the authority to perform wedding ceremonies four years ago
Governor Andrew Cuomo barred federal district and appeals court judges from officiating weddings in New York on Tuesday, saying he wanted to limit the influence of President Donald Trump‘s appointees. In the process, he hamstrung a far greater number of judges chosen by Democratic presidents.
The state Senate passed a bill in June by a 61–1 margin expanding the list of public officials empowered to ‘solemnize’ marriages. State lawmakers, current and former mayors, county executives, tribal officials and federal judges with jurisdiction in the Empire State already had that authority. So did leaders of a secular humanist group called the New York Society for Ethical Culture.
The bill, proposed by Liz Kreuger, a Democrat from New York City‘s Upper East Side, added federal district and appeals court judges from all over the United States. Cuomo vetoed it on December 24, saying he wanted to prevent Trump-appointed jurists from having an impact in his state.
The U.S. Senate has confirmed 181 judges from those categories since Trump took office. But research by DailyMail.com has determined that 621 sitting federal district and appeals judges appointed by Democratic presidents are still on the bench.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed an overwhelmingly popular bill this week that would have allowed federal district and appeals court judges from all over America to perform weddings in his state
Cuomo said in his veto message that he made his decision specifically to prevent President Donald Trump’s judicial appointees from having an impact in the Empire State, but there are also more than 600 sitting federal district and appeals court judges who were appointed by Democratic presidents
Those include 313 of Barack Obama’s picks, 257 of Bill Clinton’s, 50 from the Jimmy Carter era and even one who has been wearing judicial robes since Lyndon Johnson was in office.
Jack B. Weinstein, born in 1921, has been on the federal bench since LBJ appointed him in 1967. He holds ‘senior judge’ status on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Should the 99-year-old with to perform a wedding in New York, he would be permitted by the old standard because of where he serves.
Cuomo’s office did not respond to a request for comment about the trade-off of barring Trump appointees from non-New York districts from blessing marriages while also limiting the access of hundreds of others.
The governor said in a veto statement that he ‘cannot in good conscience support legislation that would authorize such actions by federal judges who are appointed by this federal administration. President Trump does not embody who we are as New Yorkers.’
Citing ‘diversity, tolerance and inclusion’ as his guiding principles, he said that ‘[b]ased on these reasons, I must veto this bill. Cuomo repeated it for emphasis: ‘Based on these reasons, I must veto this bill.’
If two-thirds of both the New York state Assembly and Senate vote to override Cuomo’s veto, the bill will still become law. Legislators will return from their holiday break on January 8.
Cuomo has long feuded with the president, expressing his support for legislation that would give state lawmakers access to Trump’s long-hidden income tax returns.