A New York state judge on Friday gave embattled New York Democrats a break by giving them extra time to submit changes to their illegally manipulated congressional lines to the man tasked with drafting them following a ruling by the state’s highest court to redraw that knocked down the cards.
“We intend to submit a proposed convention schedule no later than April 30, 2022, which is the deadline set by the Appellate Division, and we hope to be able to submit it by tomorrow,” representing Attorney Eric Hecker, said Majority Leader in the state Senate Andrea Stewart cousins, in a letter sent to state Superior Court Justice Patrick McAllister on Friday.
Republicans had argued it would be unfair to show the Democrats leniency in the face of GOP attorneys’ efforts to meet the original deadline set by McAllister.
“[Republicans] met that deadline on April 22 under considerable time pressure as they prepared for the policy briefing and hearing before the Appeals Division and the supplemental briefing and hearing before the Court of Appeals on April 18-22. [Democrats] decided to sit on their hands in hopes that they would win on appeal,” GOP attorney Bennet Moskowitz’s April 29 letter to the judge said.
A spokesman for Stewart-Cousins, Mike Murphy, confirmed the extension on Friday.
Murphy said in a statement earlier in the day that “active litigation was ongoing and, as expected, the court authorized further submissions after its final decision was rendered,” in response to a request for comment as to why Democrats did not file proposed congressional lines had to McAllister considering the possibility that they would ultimately be struck down by the Court of Appeal.
Many Democrats had expected a favorable ruling from the state Supreme Court, whose judges were all appointed by their party governors, but the court eventually sided with the Republican plaintiffs in a narrow 4-3 decision.
The ruling means the state Senate and Congress primary elections will be moved from June to August while races remain in June for statewide races and the Convention — a situation that will cost taxpayers millions of additional dollars compared to a consolidated primary date could.
The appeals court ruling also overturned the state Senate’s legally-approved map, noting that state legislatures lacked the authority to pass it after the Independent Redistribution Commission failed to approve new lines for approval by the commission after a previous round of maps rejected by the commission submitted to state legislatures.
Democrats have until May 4 to submit new lines to the state Senate after successfully petitioning McAllister to move the deadline a day earlier to allow a full day to add the lines proposed by all parties to the dated Court-appointed special master Jonathan Cervas to examine.
He has until May 20 to submit cards for McAllister for approval.
The invalidated congressional lines would have given Democrats a major boost to flip several Republican seats in the US House of Representatives in midterm elections that appear favorable to the GOP. Democrats were also able to expand their supermajority in the State Senate until the appeals court ruling turned the Empire State’s electoral landscape upside down.
Albany Democrats have yet to say whether they will seek legislative action that would delay the party primaries for statewide offices such as governor and assembly, which could help Gov. Kathy Hochul defeat disgraced ex-Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin despite continued opposition from Democratic lawmakers than to drop her comrade-in-arms.
The governor has scheduled a public event in Albany for Friday at 4 p.m.
https://nypost.com/2022/04/29/ny-democrats-beg-for-mercy-on-gerrymandering-redo-deadline/ New York Democrats are begging for mercy for exceeding the redo deadline