In a court filing yesterday, a pair of Senate Democrats — including Senate Minority Leader John Sampson — said they’re ready for a federal judge to appoint a “special master” to redraw state and congressional district lines.
Sampson and Sen. Martin Malave Dilan, D-Brooklyn, said the “time is ripe for court intervention,” claiming that “an impasse in the redistricting process has arisen” and citing a number of issues that are unique to 2012.
Dilan, the Senate Democrats’ appointee to the legislative task force that is redrawing the lines for 2012, describes “a culture of divisiveness, an inability to agree, and partisanship among the members of the Legislature” in an affidavit filed in federal court in Manhattan.
The court filing comes as one of a flood of papers filed in a lawsuit in recent days. A group of New York residents filed suit against Gov. Andrew Cuomo and various other state officeholders earlier this year, urging the court to appoint a special master because of inaction by the legislative task force.
Sampson and Dilan were both named as defendants, but their New York City-based attorney — Leonard Kohen (no, not that Leonard Cohen) — wrote that the two senators agree with the plaintiffs’ original lawsuit and urged the court not to dismiss it. Both Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, were among several that had filed a motion to dismiss.
Here’s the Senate Democrats’ filing: