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Challenge to Expulsion of ex-NY Senator Hiram Monserrate Rejected

By FindLaw Staff on March 16, 2010 1:19 PM

Monserrate v. N.Y. State Senate, No. 10-0604, concerned an action seeking a preliminary injunction that would have unwound the expulsion of state senator Hiram Monserrate from the New York State Senate. 

The court of appeals affirmed the denial of the injunction, holding that 1) assuming that Monserrate's expulsion burdened constitutional rights related to voting and political association, any such burden was justified by the state interest in maintaining the integrity of the Senate; 2) it would be anomalous to rule that the Constitution prohibits a state legislature from exercising, in the regulation of its internal affairs, a latitude comparable to that expressly allowed to Congress; and 3) the availability of adequate process defeated plaintiffs' "stigma-plus" claim.

In another case decided today, Taravella v. Wolcott, No. 08-2529, involved an action alleging that plaintiff's right to due process was violated when she was fired from municipal employment without a hearing.  The court of appeals reversed the denial of summary judgment based on qualified immunity, holding that 1) plaintiff conceded that defendant neither knew nor had reason to know about an alleged oral promise to plaintiff; and 2) plaintiff's employment agreement was ambiguous as a matter of law.

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