NEW YORK, NY – Today, Independent Women’s Law Center (IWLC) partnering with New York attorneys Christian Browne and Bobbie Cox, filed an appellate brief on behalf of New Yorkers, defending residents from radical gender ideology resulting from an illegal legislative process. Democrats in the New York legislature are seeking to put rushed, unconsidered language on the ballot in November, without going through the deliberative process the New York constitution requires for all ballot measures.

May Mailman, Director of the Independent Women’s Law Center, said, “Women in New York would be legally erased by this ballot language. Mothers would lose their children, unless they agreed to raise them in accordance with damaging ideologies. Female athletes and abused women would lose access to single sex spaces. Before this tragedy happens, women at least deserve a considered legislative process, in accordance with the New York constitution.”

Christian Browne, co-counsel for plaintiffs, said, “The State Legislature introduced and adopted a proposed amendment to the New York State Constitution, all in less than an hour, with no public hearings and almost no debate. The State Constitution does not allow the Legislature to rush through a proposed amendment to New York’s governing document. The Legislature is required to refer any proposed amendment to the State Attorney General for her legal opinion on the proposal. The Legislature is required to give the Attorney General an opportunity to issue her opinion (up to 20 days) before it may hold a vote on a proposed amendment. Here, the Legislature introduced an amendment and voted on it within an hour. It did not wait to receive the Attorney General’s opinion, nor did it give the Attorney General an opportunity to issue her opinion before passing the proposal. As the trial court rightly held, the plain, clear language of the State Constitution prohibits the Legislature from acting in this manner, and we trust the Appellate Division will uphold the trial court’s ruling and, in so doing, will ensure that the Legislature acts only within the scope of its constitutional authority.”

The language New York Democrats want to ram through would devastate women’s rights and parental rights, by creating “gender identity” and “gender expression” rights, including for minors. The proposed constitutional language will be used by activists to demand that minors be given transgender surgical and chemical alterations without parental consent and to demand that men invade women’s spaces, including prisons, domestic abuse shelters, and sports. These changes would be enshrined in the constitution, and therefore the resulting harm could not be alleviated through legislation.

The lawsuit challenges procedural deficiencies in putting this harmful language on the November ballot. The New York constitution requires that proposed ballot measures be submitted to the attorney general for an opinion. “Upon receiving” an opinion, the legislature may approve a measure for the ballot. Here, the New York legislature did not wait for an attorney general opinion and instead hastily proposed and approved language to the ballot within the course of a single day. The trial court found that this process violates the New York constitution and therefore ruled the ballot measure cannot move forward. Independent Women’s Law Center is defending this thorough and well-considered decision on appeal. 

Independent Women’s Law Center looks forward to the appeals court affirming.

Read the brief HERE.

Independent Women’s Law Center advocates for equal opportunity, individual liberty, and the continued legal relevance of biological sex. 
Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.