In Slap at Trump, Cuomo Vetoes U.S. Judges Performing Weddings

Henry Goldman

(Bloomberg) -- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have allowed federal judges to perform wedding ceremonies because many of them are President Donald Trump’s appointees.

“I cannot in good conscience support legislation that would authorize such actions by federal judges who are appointed by this federal administration,” Cuomo, a Democrat, said Friday as he vetoed the bill, which passed the Democratic-controlled legislature overwhelmingly. “President Trump does not embody who we are as New Yorkers. The cornerstones that built our great state are diversity, tolerance and inclusion.”

State Senator Liz Krueger, a progressive Manhattan Democrat who sponsored the bill, said the legislature gave the governor authority to perform wedding ceremonies four years ago, and granted similar powers to lawmakers two years ago.

“Marriage is inclusive, equal, and open to all who want it,” she said after the veto. “So when it was suggested to me that we expand it to federal judges, I thought, ‘Why not? The more the merrier!’”

The bill passed the state Assembly, 148 to 2, and the state Senate 61 to 1.

“It’s hard to imagine a more petty, small action from a sitting governor,” Nick Langworthy, the state Republican Party chairman, said in a statement.

Cuomo, who refrained from criticizing Trump early in the president’s term, has traded hostile exchanges with him in the past two years.

In October, when Trump moved his formal residence to Florida from New York, Cuomo responded with a terse, “Good riddance.” He has supported legal moves in his administration and by Attorney General Letitia James to investigate Trump’s state tax payments, and he signed a bill in June allowing the state to release Trump’s state tax returns to the U.S. Congress.

Trump, in declaring his Florida residence, said in a tweet, “Unfortunately, despite the fact that I pay millions of dollars in city, state and local taxes each year, I have been treated very badly by the political leaders of both the city and state.”

(Updates with comment from Republican state chairman in 6th paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Henry Goldman in New York at hgoldman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Flynn McRoberts at fmcroberts1@bloomberg.net, Bob Ivry, Larry Reibstein

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