Divided Panel Rebuffs NYCLU Bid for Overhaul of Indigent Defense

Dissent Says Majority's 'Myopic' Ruling Scants Fundamental Right

, New York Law Journal

Deferring to state policy makers, a deeply divided Third Department panel yesterday dismissed a suit contending that New York had abdicated its constitutional duty to provide legal representation to indigent criminal defendants. "There can be little doubt that what plaintiffs seek in this action - a massive overhaul of this state's public defense system - has obvious and ominous implications for the constitutional principle of separation of powers," Justice E. Michael Kavanagh wrote for the majority.

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