Wednesday, December 9, 2020

The Supreme Court Sets the Bar, New York’s Court of Appeals Raises It

By Matthew Rimkunas
Matthew Rimkunas, a third-year student at Albany Law School and the Editor in Chief of the Center for Judicial Process, graduated magna cum laude from the University at Albany with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and minors in both Business and Sociology.
Matthew has experience on both sides of the criminal justice system, interning at The Law Offices of Gerard V. Amedio, P.C. as well as the Rensselaer County District Attorney’s Office. He also interned at Ayco, a Goldman Sachs Company, where he worked on tax and estate planning matters. Presently, he is an intern with the Claims Bureau of the New York State Office of the Attorney General, assisting in the defense of tort and contract actions against the State.
Beyond Matthew’s internship experience, he was a participant in the 2019 Domenick L. Gabrielli Appellate Advocacy Moot Court Competition and is currently a Research Assistant for Professor Patrick M. Connors.

The fundamental principles of federalism that ensure state integrity throughout the nation are nowhere more evident than in the state high courts. They are most easily observed in states like New York that vigorously protect civil liberties and frequently blaze the trails that other state—and federal—courts eventually follow. On numerous occasions, the New York Court of Appeals has rejected United States Supreme Court precedents as insufficient for the standards demanded by the New York State Constitution.

This paper highlights instances where New York’s high court went above and beyond the protections afforded by the Supreme Court. Each time it did, the Court of Appeals diverged from a federal constitutional standard to provide greater protections under its State Constitution. As a result, our state’s constitutional law jurisprudence has incrementally transformed into the preeminent body of law that New York is now so well known for. 
To read the paper, open HERE.