Hofstra Law Review


New York's and all judicial approaches to statutory interpretation are framed by the constitutional truism that the judicial will must bend to the legislative command. Such legislative superiority means that, in the application of statutes, judges are not free to resolve a dispute by simply imposing their outcome preferences, as they might have done in a common law setting, or to treat statutory laws as loosely binding precedents, as they may have treated common law precedents. In "question[s] of statutory interpretation ... the Court's role is clear: our purpose is not to pass on the wisdom of the statute or any of its requirements, but rather to implement the will of the Legislature as expressed in its enactment." Or, to reiterate Judge Kaye's observation: "Unless a statute in some way contravenes the state or federal constitution, we are obliged to follow it-and of course we do."' It is through the subordination of the judiciary to the legislature that our laws are assured their "democratic pedigree."

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