Impeachment in New York: How does it work?

New York News

ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR) — Republican lawmakers in the New York State Assembly announced Monday they would introduce a resolution calling for the impeachment of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Once the resolution is introduced, the bill would be referred to an Assembly committee that will look into the resolution. If the committee agrees to proceed with impeachment, the resolution would be voted on by the entire Assembly. A majority vote would result in impeachment.

Like an impeachment at the federal level, a state-level impeachment is an accusation of wrongdoing, similar to an indictment in a criminal case. Still, there is a big difference between the New York and the federal Constitutions. While presidents remain on the job following their impeachment and during the trial in the Senate, that’s not how it works in New York.

Should Cuomo be impeached, he would not serve as governor while awaiting or standing trial. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul would act as governor during that time.

In case the governor is impeached, is absent from the state or is otherwise unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office of governor, the lieutenant-governor shall act as governor until the inability shall cease or until the term of the governor shall expire.

Article IV, section 5 of the New York State Consitition

Should Cuomo be acquitted, he would return to his job, and Hochul would return to her role. Should he be convicted, he would be removed from office, and Hochul would complete his term.

Once impeached, a special court would hear the case. That court would consist of the 63 members of the State Senate and the seven members of the state’s highest court, The Court of Appeals. However, the state constitution says the “temporary president of the senate,” who is Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins is excluded from the impeachment trial of a Governor. Also excluded, is the Lieutenant Governor, who would serve in the trial of other high state officials.

Of the 69 people who would sit in judgment at an impeachment trial, a two-thirds vote is needed for conviction.

Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, or removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any public office of honor, trust, or profit under this state; but the party impeached shall be liable to indictment and punishment according to law.

Article VI, Section 24 New York State Constitution

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