ALBANY - (AP) - New York's top court has upheld Gov. DavidPaterson's power to appoint a lieutenant governor, reversing alower court's decision.

Paterson's lawyers argued that a provision of state law allowsthe governor to fill vacancies, including Paterson's July 8appointment of Richard Ravitch.

Paterson tapped Ravitch to help break a monthlong Senateleadership struggle. Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos filed alawsuit challenging his authority to make the appointment.

Lieutenant governors in New York appear on a ticket with thegubernatorial candidate and are elected. But the lieutenantgovernor's post had been empty since Paterson stepped up to replaceEliot Spitzer, who resigned last year amid a prostitution scandal.

The court ruling was released Tuesday.

Read the ruling