Court of Appeal throws out Assembly cards – Queens Daily Eagle

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By Jacob Kaye

Weeks before New Yorkers prepare to vote in the state Assembly primary, state appeals court judges rejected the newly redrawn Assembly lines, confirming may -may be that the upcoming elections and general elections in November will be the first and last time districts will be used.

The Appellate Division, First Department ruled Friday that the Assembly maps, like the Senate and Congress maps before them, were unconstitutional because the state legislature followed improper procedure when issuing them. has drawn.

Such was the fate of the Senate and Congressional cards, which were struck down by the Court of Appeals in April. The state’s highest court did not rule on the Assembly cards because they were not part of the petitioner’s arguments in previous appeals.

But unlike the Senate and Congressional elections, which have been pushed back until August, the Assembly elections will remain on schedule and will be held on June 28, with the new maps taking effect for years to come.

The cards have again been questioned by petitioner Gavin Wax, president of the New York Young Republican Club, who last month filed a petition with New York Supreme Court Justice Patrick McAllister, seeking to make discard the Assembly cards.

McAllister ruled against Wax, citing the short turnaround time to allow the appointed special master to redraw a new set of district lines.

The panel of appeal judges agreed with McAllister on the timing of their decision on Friday.

“The Supreme Court properly denied the motion insofar as it seeks a new state assembly map for use in the 2022 assembly elections,” the ruling reads.

“To this extent the petition, which includes a request for an order postponing the 2022 assembly primary election to August or September 2022, is barred by the doctrine of laches, given the unreasonable and prejudicial delay of the petitioners to initiate this procedure,” the judges said. ‘ The ruling continued. “The request to postpone the 2022 assembly primary election is denied in any event, as the redesign and implementation of a new assembly map ahead of a postponed 2022 primary election even until September is, at this late date, no longer feasible.”

However, where McAllister found the timing invalidated the argument, the justices ruled that this year’s election would use current maps and new lines would be drawn in time for the state’s 2024 election cycle.

The case will now go to the New York County Supreme Court, where a judge will determine how the maps will be redrawn.

“Based on today’s decision of the Appellate Division, New Yorkers will not be subject to ten years of unconstitutional representation,” Wax said in a statement. “Today is a historic day for justice in New York State.”

The decision stems from the processes by which the maps were drawn – the same process that was ruled unconstitutional by the Court of Appeal.

For the first time in state history, the New York Independent Redistricting Commission was tasked with drawing the state’s electoral lines this year during the once-in-ten state redistricting process. year.

After the IRC missed its deadline, state lawmakers, led by state Democratic leaders, took responsibility based on a recently passed law.

State high court judges ruled the recently passed law and lawmaker’s decision to draw the maps themselves were unconstitutional – the constitutional amendment that created the IRC and gave it its power was ambiguous on what should happen if it fails, the judges said. .

After rescinding the state Senate and Congress cards, the Board of Elections moved the primary date for those offices from July 28 to August 23.

Assembly elections and statewide elections, including for governor, will take place on July 28.

“The courts have again ruled in favor of the people and against establishment politicians who have attempted to flout our state Constitution to preserve their longevity in office,” said Aaron Foldenauer, one of the attorneys who sued and a former mayoral candidate.

“The people of New York voted to draw nonpartisan lines so that politicians cannot gerrymander their districts to maintain their own power,” he added. “Today, the Court upheld the right of New Yorkers to have free and fair elections.”

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