Groups say governor’s redistricting bill is constitutional

Michael Gianaris

April 06, 2011

Politics on the Hudson posted an article about Governor Cuomo's redistricting reform bill and how good government groups are saying that it is constitutional, despite what Senate Republicans are saying. It is time to pass redistricting reform to ensure and a fair and nonpartisan process.

A coalition of good-government groups pushing for non-partisan redistricting is refuting claims by Senate Republicans that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s legislation to set up this process is unconstitutional. ReShapeNY released a legal memo written by the international law firm Weil, Gotshal and Manges LLP to back up its argument.

The memo said the Legislature has the authority to delegate its powers, and doing so would not violate the separation of powers between different branches of government because lawmakers wouldn’t be granting their authority to another branch of government. The state has to redraw districts every 10 years based on the U.S. Census. Senate Republicans, who hold a 32-30 majority, said they want to adopt a process through a constitutional amendment. But that process could not be completed in time for redistricting next year.

“With the unprecedented and growing support for redistricting reform from both parties in the Assembly and the endorsement of the distinguished international law firm Weil, Gotshal and Manges that the Cuomo bill is constitutional, it is clear that redistricting reform should move forward,” Dick Dadey, executive director of Citizens Union, said in a statement.

Read the full article here.