A New York judge has struck down a law that would have created a state commission tasked with investigating prosecutorial misconduct.
Justice David Weinstein declared the law unconstitutional in a decision issued Tuesday, marking a win for a prosecutors’ association that sued over the statute.
The law would have set up an 11-member commission to probe misconduct claims against New York state prosecutors. The panel would have been appointed by the governor, Legislature and New York’s chief judge.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, first signed the law in 2018 and later approved amendments after constitutionality concerns were raised.
Supporters say the law would set up a new way of stopping prosecutors who abuse their power. Cuomo’s office has touted the commission as the nation’s first and said prosecutorial misconduct can lead to wrongful convictions.
The law would have allowed the commission to censure or admonish a prosecutor. It also gave the panel the ability to recommend to the governor that a prosecutor be removed,
Prosecutors have called the law unconstitutional.
In their lawsuit, the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York argued the measure violated the separation of powers and gave state lawmakers too much oversight over independent district attorney’s offices.