New York redistricting court battle shifts to State Assembly


Two legal challenges pending in state court could upset the final legislative maps left hanging in the redistricting process: the New York State Assembly.

The challenges are issued for different reasons: one by a New York Republican, the other by a Greene County businessman and registered Democrat. The only blockage? It’s a legal challenge that House Republicans, long in the minority since the dawn of the post-Watergate era, don’t really want.

Last month, New York’s highest court ruled that the United States House of Representatives and state Senate districts established by lawmakers were unconstitutional. And now, two legal challenges are trying to win a third set of district lines for the state assembly.

“Certainly this will set the course for the next 10 years of New York State politics, but it definitely presents itself as a historic opportunity to have the lines of the Assembly drawn not by the Democrats of the Assembly, but by an independent outside body,” Gavin said. Wax, who filed suit in the state Supreme Court.

The state assembly cards were not included in the initial and successful legal challenge that led to the dismissal of the state’s congressional and senate districts.

If successful, the consequence would be a redrawing of state Assembly district lines approved by state lawmakers earlier this year after an independent commission created by a voter-approved constitutional amendment n failed to reach agreement on the boundaries.

And that would likely mean that the state Assembly primaries, as well as down races affected by the assembly line shift like judges, would also move from June 28 to August 23. Last month, a state Supreme Court justice ordered Congress and the state Senate primaries to be moved to Aug. 23 as a court-appointed special master draws new districts.

New York voters currently face the potentially costly and confusing possibility of two primaries spread over two months unless a consolidation occurs. Governor Kathy Hochul, who faces a three-candidate gubernatorial primary on June 28, does not want to move the statewide races to August.

Wax, a leader of the New York Young Republicans, argues that lawmakers did not follow proper procedure in drawing the district’s new boundaries. The challenge comes as early voting for the June primary in the state Assembly is just weeks away.

“It’s a public interest argument and I think it’s a constitutional argument,” Wax said. “If it is a constitutional question, which we believe, the advisability of it is irrelevant.”

The other challenge comes from Gary Greenberg, who was a prominent advocate for the passage of the Child Victims Act, a measure that made it easier for victims and survivors of childhood sexual abuse to file lawsuits. .

“People deserve fair neighborhoods, competitive neighborhoods,” Greenberg said. “The Democrats, they had their chance and they overplayed their hand.”

Challenging House lines with a Democratic majority is unusual in part because House Republicans themselves do not want it. House Republicans worked with Democrats on the generally partisan redistricting process, Congressman Andy Goodell said.

“We have been very fortunate this year to have had tremendous bipartisan attention and communication when it comes to assembly line development,” he said.

A rejection of the cards by a court will cause complications in restarting the costly and time-consuming petition process.

“If the cards are discarded, it obviously creates confusion and questions,” he said. “All the petitions have already been distributed.”

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