Court Of Appeals Rejects Nassau County Lines

Michael Gianaris

August 30, 2011

State of Politics wrote about a Court of Appeals rejection of Nassau county district lines. Legislative district lines must not be drawn in a manipulated, partisan manner.

A Court of Appeals decision for Nassau County could have statewide implications for the redrawing of legislatively boundaries next year.

Or, at least that’s what Senate Democrats hope.

The Court of Appeals ruled 7-2 7-0, with two judges dissenting in part (whoops!), this morning rejected boundaries drawn by the Nassau County Legislature, which the judges claim ignored a three-step process as laid out in a county charter.

The court’s opinion, which reversed an Appellate Court ruling found that the Republican-led Legislature must go through the full process, and not ignore the proper redistricting guidelines. The redistricting law that passed the Legislature in May was signed off on by Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, a Republican.

The Court of Appeals is composed for four Republican gubernatorial appointees and three Democrats.

But here is where it gets interesting.

The Republican cause was argued by attorney John Ciampoli, a go-to GOP lawyer with ties to Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County. The plan approved by the Legislature would have broken up distrcits represented by four Democrats, a plan the party claims is a power grab by the GOP.

State Democrats now say this is a sign that the courts are on their side when it comes to redistricting.

“The Courts and the public will not stand for a rigged process. This is a major defeat for Senator Skelos and the Senate Republicans. The people of New York are sick and tired of the same old political games. Unfortunately, unless we have a truly independent process this scenario will play out across New York hurting people in every district. Now is the time for real reform,” said Senate Democratic Conference spokesman Mike Murphy.

Read the full article here.