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New York judge rejects bid to halt council vote extending term limits

[JURIST] New York Supreme Court Judge Jacquelyn Silbermann [official website] Wednesday rejected a petition brought by two members of New York City Council [official website] trying to prevent a council vote on a resolution to extend New York mayoral and city council term limits [materials] from eight to 12 years. Council members Bill de Blasio and Letitia James [official websites] filed the complaint to prevent the vote, arguing that voting on an option to extend their own terms presented members with a conflict of interest. Silberman ruled again them, noting that members opposed to extension could vote no or abstain. The council is scheduled to vote on the resolution [text] introduced by Mayor Michael Bloomberg [official website] Thursday. Reuters has more. Newsday has local coverage.

Last month, Bloomberg announced his plan to seek a third term [NYT report], arguing his financial expertise and business background is necessary to lead New York through the rough financial times caused by the credit crisis. To seek re-election, Bloomberg introduced a council resolution to extend mayoral term limits from two to three 4 year terms. The current term limits were enacted in 1993 by city-wide referendum and upheld in 1996 again by referendum [NY Times report]. Critics argue Bloomberg's resolution overturns a decision by popular referendum with a council vote that requires only a simple majority to pass.

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