The New York Supreme Court on Monday struck down a recently passed law that allows non-citizens to vote in local elections.
The New York City council passed a bill in December allowing legal residents, including those with green cards to vote in local elections beginning in 2023. The “Our City, Our Vote” bill became law in January.
The law, which would’ve allowed an estimated 800,000 adults to vote for offices including mayor, was brought to the Supreme Court after Republican lawmakers filed a suit in the Staten Island Supreme Court.
Staten Island Justice Ralph J. Porzio wrote that giving non-citizens the right to vote would require a referendum, according to the New York Times.
“The New York State Constitution expressly states that citizens meeting the age and residency requirements are entitled to register and vote in elections,” Porzio wrote, according to the New York Daily News.
“Though voting is a right so many citizens take for granted, the City of New York cannot ‘obviate’ the restrictions imposed by the Constitution,” he added.
“Today’s decision validates those of us who can read the plain English words of our state constitution and state statutes: Noncitizen voting in New York is illegal, and shame on those who thought they could skirt the law for political gain. Opposition to this measure was bipartisan and cut across countless neighborhood and ethnic lines, yet progressives chose to ignore both our constitution and public sentiment in order to suit their aims. I commend the court in recognizing reality and reminding New York’s professional protestor class that the rule of law matters,” City Council minority leader Joseph Borelli said, according to CBS New York.