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State of New York vs. COVID-19 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo periodically updates New Yorkers on the state's progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The latest reports of the number of new cases, the percentage of tests that were positive and many other relevant data points concerning COVID-19 are available at

N.B. §22 of the New York State's General Construction Law, in pertinent part, provides that “Whenever words of the masculine or feminine gender appear in any law, rule or regulation, unless the sense of the sentence indicates otherwise, they shall be deemed to refer to both male or female persons.” NYPPL applies this protocol to individuals referred to in a decision self-identifying as LGBTQA+.

January 28, 2011

The Doctrine of Nullification claimed as authority to obviated recent federal health care legislation

The Doctrine of Nullification claimed as authority to obviated recent federal health care legislation

State lawmakers in Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Oregon, Nebraska, Texas and Wyoming are considering adopting legislation to avoid the federal government’s efforts to “overhaul health care” pursuant to the so-called Doctrine of Nullification.

The Doctrine, attributed to President Thomas Jefferson among others, purports to give States the ultimate authority insofar as the implementation of acts of Congress is concerned and is typically linked to the 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Tenth Amendment provides that “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

A book printed by the U.S. Government Printing Office, The Constitution of the United States of America [Analysis and Interpretations, 1964], and prepared by the Legislative Reference Service of the Library of Congress, states that “The Tenth Amendment was intended to confirm the understanding of the people at the time the Constitution was adopted” with respect to the division of power between the federal government and the States.

As to the Doctrine of Nullification,* the United States Supreme Court, in the context of a 14th Amendment school desegregation case,** rejected the concept, stating that "Although ‘the responsibility for public education is primarily the concern of the States ..., such responsibilities ... must be exercised consistently with federal constitutional requirements as they apply to state actions.’ Consequently, ‘a Governor who asserts a power to nullify a federal court order’ implementing that ruling is subject to judicial restraint, for otherwise ‘the fiat of a State Governor and not the Constitution ... would be the supreme law of the land..."

* See The Constitution of the United States of America, U.S.G.P.O., Page 1035, Footnote 2.

** Cooper v Aaron, 358 US 1, 18-19, [1958].

Public Personnel Law E-books

The Discipline Book - A concise guide to disciplinary actions involving public employees in New York State set out in a 700 page e-book. For more information click on

A Reasonable Disciplinary Penalty Under the Circumstances - A 442-page e-book focusing on determining an appropriate disciplinary penalty to be imposed on an employee in the public service in instances where the employee has been found guilty of misconduct or incompetence. Now available in two formats - as a large, paperback print edition and as an e-book. For more information click on

The Layoff, Preferred List and Reinstatement Manual - A 645 page e-book reviewing the relevant laws, rules and regulations, and selected court and administrative decisions. For more information click on

Disability Leave for fire, police and other public sector personnel - A 1098 page e-book focusing on disability benefits available to public officers and employees employed by New York State and its political subdivisions. For more information click on