Gov. Cuomo bans Donald Trump-appointed judges from officiating New York weddings

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed an overwhelmingly popular bill this week that would have allowed federal district and appeals court judges from all over America to perform weddings in his state

Democrats at the state level are sinking to the same levels of pettiness as their colleagues in Washington D.C., with a Democratic governor barring federal district and appeals court judges from officiating at weddings in his state because so many of them were appointed by President Donald Trump. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the peculiar move in New York last week, vetoing a Democratic lawmaker’s bill to broaden the range of public officials who can perform marriages in the state. In the process of blocking the Trump appointees, though, he cut off a far greater number of judges chosen by Democratic presidents.

The New York Senate passed a bill in June, 61–1, to expand the list of public officials empowered to “solemnize” marriages. State lawmakers, current and former mayors, county executives, tribal officials and federal judges with jurisdiction in the Empire State already had that authority. So did leaders of a secular humanist group called the New York Society for Ethical Culture.

The bill, proposed by Liz Kreuger, a Democrat from New York City, added federal district and appeals court judges from all over the United States. Cuomo vetoed it on Dec. 24, saying he wanted to prevent Trump-appointed jurists from having influence in his state.

The U.S. Senate has confirmed 181 judges from those categories since Trump took office. has determined, however that 621 sitting federal district and appeals judges appointed by Democratic presidents are still on the bench.

Those include 313 of Barack Obama’s picks, 257 of Bill Clinton’s, 50 from the Jimmy Carter era and even one who has been wearing judicial robes since Lyndon Johnson was in office.

Cuomo’s office did not respond to inquiries about the trade-off of barring Trump appointees from non-New York districts from blessing marriages while limiting access for hundreds of others.

The governor said in a veto statement that he ‘cannot in good conscience support legislation that would authorize such actions by federal judges who are appointed by this federal administration. President Trump does not embody who we are as New Yorkers.’

Citing ‘diversity, tolerance and inclusion’ as his guiding principles, he said that ‘[b]ased on these reasons, I must veto this bill. Cuomo repeated it for emphasis: ‘Based on these reasons, I must veto this bill.’


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