Judge reinstates election maps until court appeal
Kate Lisa is reporting for State of Politics the state's upcoming primary elections will proceed as scheduled, an appellate judge ruled April 8. In addition, the maps defining new congressional, Senate and Assembly districts will stay in place for the next several weeks until the next phase of the legal challenge to the state's redistricting process is adjudicated. State Supreme Court Appellate Division Justice Stephen Lindley Friday, issued a stay to allow New York candidates to continue to canvas, keeping the current general primary election scheduled for June 28. The state Board of Elections deadline for filing petitions is April 11. A judge with the Fourth Department of the state's Appellate Division is expected to issue a decision on the appeal on April 20. Steuben County Supreme Court Justice Patrick McAllister on March 31, struck down the new maps drawn by the Legislature after finding that lawmakers failed to comply with the state Constitution and amendments that established the Independent Redistricting Commission in 2014. The Legislature and state Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment could immediately start redrawing the new elective district maps, or take no action before then, and possibly be at the mercy of maps crafted by a neutral expert chosen by McAllister if the defendants lose their Court of Appeals challenge this month. Former congressperson John Faso has accused Democrats of gerrymandering and advocated for the maps to be overturned since they were first drafted in February. “We are pleased with the decision today, partially lifting the stay," Faso said in a statement April 8. "This will allow Judge McAllister to appoint a special master to redraw the congressional districts in a fair and nonpartisan way, as called for in the New York Constitution. ...Ultimately, the decision will rest with the NYS Court of Appeals, but we’re encouraged that the direct language in the Constitution prohibiting partisan gerrymandering will guide their ruling.” Read the full story at nystateofpolitics [dot] com.