Redistricting Still Not Completed


Yesterday, in proceedings held before Circuit Judge Reena Raggi, Circuit Judge Gerald E. Lynch, and District Judge Dora L. Irizarry, lawyers for Governor Andrew Cuomo, the state legislature and the plaintiffs addressed the status of the newly enacted Legislative Redistricting Plan for the State Senate and Assembly Districts. That plan is presently being “pre-cleared” by the Voting Rights Division of the US Justice Department

Despite objections from the lawyers representing the Senate and Assembly Majorities, the Court declared that it would hear complaints about the enacted state legislative redistricting plan.

Plaintiffs were told to file amended complaints by March 27. And the attorneys representing the state legislature and the Governor must file their answers by April 2. The Court authorized Professor Nathaniel Persily to begin his redistricting analysis on April 9— at the state’s expense. Magistrate Judge Roanne L. Mann may yet again have a role to play. After oral argument is heard in state court, the Court will hold a status conference sometime in mid-April.

Judge Dora Irizzary instructed the parties to notify the Court immediately of any action that is taken by the Department of Justice and/or the U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia concerning the pre-clearance process as well as by the New York County Supreme Court in the matter of Cohen, et. al. v. Cuomo, et. al., (i.e., the case brought by Senate Democrats challenging the constitutionality of the 63rd senate district).

As it now stands, nominating petitions for the June 26 congressional primaries began this week. The state legislative primaries are still scheduled for September 11. Stay tuned because the NYS redistricting saga continues.

For those keeping score listed below are the names of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs and defendants.

Attorney appearances: For plaintiffs – Richard Mancino and Daniel Burstein; for “Drayton” intervenor plaintiffs – Joan P. Gibbs, Esmeralda Simmons, and Randolph McLaughlin; for “Lee” intervenor plaintiffs – Jerry Vattamala and James Herschlein; for “Ramos” intervenor plaintiffs – Jackson Chin and Jose Perez; for “Rose” intervenor plaintiffs – Jeffrey Vanacore; For defendants Cuomo and Duffy – Joshua Benjamin Pepper; For Senate majority defendants – Todd Geramia and David Lewis; for Assembly majority defendants C. Daniel Chill; for Senate minority defendants – Eric Hecker; for defendant Kolb – Donald Hillman; for defendant Oakes – Lisa Perillo. —–

About SquarePegDem

A former state legislator turned NY Post editorial board member, thought-leader, public affairs consultant and commentator, columnist and blogger. Michael has appeared on Al Jazeera America Tonight, NY1/Inside City Hall, FoxNews.com LIVE, YNN/Capital Tonight, The Brian Lehrer Show, The Fred Dicker Show, The Capitol Press Room, and The Daily Show. His op-eds have appeared in the NY Post, City and State, The Legislative Gazette, Bronx Times, The Troy Record, Buffalo News, and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. To schedule speaking engagements, email MBenjamin9@optimum.net.
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