Woods, who graduated from Albany Law School in May, was chosen for his essay about a constitutional amendment to address lieutenant gubernatorial succession in Albany. Woods received a $1,000 cash prize for his essay which proposes a constitutional amendment providing for gubernatorial appointment of a backup lieutenant governor, chosen from among the other highest elected officials of the state, who would automatically and immediately become lieutenant governor in case of a vacancy. In 2009, the issue of lieutenant governor succession came to a head when then-Governor David Paterson unilaterally appointed a replacement in absence of clear guidance from the state constitution.
Wood’s full essay, titled “Automatic Lieutenant Gubernatorial Succession: Preventing Legislative Gridlock without Sacrificing the Elective Principle,” is available at http://effectiveny.org/leading-voice/change/lieutenant-governor/patrick-woods-editor-chief-albany-law-review-automatic-lieu. A conference will be held this coming fall at which Woods’ essay will be presented. The essay also is scheduled for publication in the Albany Law Review.
The EffectiveNY contest called for essays between the length of 5,000-7,500 words that addressed a New York State Constitutional issue. A panel of lawyers and academics led by Dr. Benjamin evaluated the essays submitted through the EffectiveNY website.