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IRC, please get it right: The state Senate districts need another vote to make them fully legal



When 10 members of the bipartisan state Independent Redistricting Commission meet today at noon in the Roosevelt Hearing Room C, in the Legislative Office Building in Albany, on their agenda are just two items: 1. Adoption of annual budget 2. Discuss legislative report.

Someone — be it Ken Jenkins, Yovan Collado, Ivelisse Cuevas-Molina, Elaine Frazier and Dennis Walcott on the Democratic side, or Charlie Nesbitt, Ross Brady, John Conway, Lisa Harris and Will Stephens on the Republican side — should make a motion to have the IRC take a vote on the 63 district maps of the state Senate.

Due to decisions of the Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court, the Assembly and congressional maps had to go through two rounds before the IRC. Having only one round is unconstitutional. And the Senate maps only had one round, before they were drawn by a court-appointed special master. Therefore, the Senate maps remain unconstitutional, even though no one has yet filed a lawsuit.

The reason that there’s no case brought is that neither political party sees an advantage. But the IRC doesn’t need a lawsuit to act.

Still, Chief Judge Rowan Wilson, who authored the most recent decision, wrote, “the IRC’s constitutional obligation may be enforced at any time,” Please, make the Senate constitutional and vote on the maps again. The maps can be exactly the same, but the Constitution must be obeyed.

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