Dems, GOP tussle via statement over court decision

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As expected, Republicans are thrilled with the state Court of Appeals’ decision this morning upholding the creation of an additional seat in the state Senate, while Democrats are less than pleased.

To recap: As part of the state’s redistricting plan signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this year, Senate Republicans drew 63 Senate districts (currently, there’s 62), which they say was mandated by a complex formula in the state constitution that determines the size of the chamber. Democrats alleged that they created the district for political purposes, and eventually sued in state court to have it overturned.

Today, the state’s highest court sided with the GOP-drawn plan.

Senate Democrats spokesman Mike Murphy was first out of the gate with a statement this morning:

“While we are disappointed with today’s decision, we are hopeful that remaining legal challenges will overturn the unfair State Senate maps,” Murphy said. “In any event, Senate Democrats remain confident that even if the existing gerrymandered maps are ultimately upheld, Democrats will gain seats and retake the majority in the State Senate this November.”

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, said in his own statement that he is “gratified that the Court of Appeals has unanimously ruled that the Senate’s reapportionment plan is fair and complies with the State Constitution.”

Here’s the rest of Skelos’ statement:

“Today’s decision by the State’s highest court upholds the addition of a 63rd Senate seat, consistent with the requirements of the State Constitution. It was the Senate Democrats who wrongly dragged us into
court and wasted taxpayer money pursuing this matter.

This ruling comes on the heels of the Obama administration’s decision to preclear our reapportionment plan, after determining it complied with Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

Finally, I am grateful that the Court of Appeals heard this important case on an expedited basis.”

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