Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Monday, November 21, 2011

New York State Redistricting Process Draws Lawsuit

Thomas Kaplan at The New York Times is reporting that "a group of community leaders has filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to take control of the contentious redistricting process."
The lawsuit, which names Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and legislative leaders as defendants, asserts that the officials’ effort to redraw Assembly, Senate and Congressional district boundaries to reflect the most recent census “has stalled and threatens to throw the state’s 2012 elections into a quagmire absent court intervention.”

The lawsuit, filed on Thursday in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, follows similar legal challenges in more than a dozen states that are also in the midst of the often-bitter process of redrawing districts. In New York, it is the first major face-off in what seems likely to devolve into a chaotic legal battle, as well as a major fight in the legislative session that will begin in January.

A task force is working on drawing a set of political maps for consideration by the Legislature. But Mr. Cuomo has said he would veto those maps, because the panel is not independent. He has called on the Legislature to approve his plan for an independent commission; it has declined.
Redistricting continues to be an important issue, and we urge everyone to contact their legislators and ask for a process that does more than protect incumbents. The rest of the article is here.