New York’s most vulnerable Democrat — freshman Congressman Max Rose — joined the legions of Republicans criticizing the state’s criminal justice reforms Monday, blasting the measures as going “too far, too fast.”
“We can and we must ensure our justice system is fair and maintains our public safety — but the fact is with the bail and discovery reforms Albany went too far, too fast,” Rose said in a statement.
“That’s why I’m joining law enforcement and bipartisan colleagues from across the state in calling for quick action in Albany to ensure the safety of our communities — and especially the victims of these crimes — are not put in jeopardy.”
Rose has no jurisdiction over the state’s criminal justice system as a member of Congress, but his remarks provide new evidence of the toll that supporting the measures could take in potentially competitive districts.
His Staten Island and Bay Ridge seat is expected to be one of the most fiercely contested in the state next year.
Democrats surprised longtime political observers by toppling a well-established Staten Island Republican, Dan Donovan, from the seat in 2018.
But, President Donald Trump cast a shadow over politics in the district when he carried it by 10 points in 2016.
Rose’s likely Republican challenger, Staten Island Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, has already publicly condemned the reform package.
He joined three other Republican lawmakers — Reps. Tom Reed, Peter King and Elise Stefanik — in the Nov. 22 letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo expressing their concern over the reforms.
The package of criminal justice reforms was passed by the Democratic-controlled state Capitol, ending cash-bail requirements for cases with non-violent offenses and requiring prosecutors to turn over evidence in cases more quickly.
“While we agree criminal justice reform has long been needed around the country, New York State’s new soft-on-crime bail laws, which will let dangerous criminals roam free, endanger their victims, and hamstring the authorities who want to hold them accountable, this is not the answer,” the lawmakers said in the letter.