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Assembly maps challenged as court begins redrawing congressional, state Senate districts

Redistricting Update WEB

Updated 5/3/22 10:45 a.m.

VESTAL, NY (WSKG) —  As a court-appointed redistricting expert begins redrawing New York’s congressional and state Senate maps, a new legal challenge has been filed to also invalidate the state Assembly districts.

In its ruling that officially invalidated the state Senate and congressional maps last week, New York’s highest court noted that the districts for state Assembly were also illegally approved. The court did not throw out the Assembly districts however, because they had not been specifically challenged in the initial lawsuit.

Gavin Wax, President of the New York Young Republican Club, filed the first challenge to the Assembly maps Monday.* The challenge intervenes in the same lawsuit in Steuben County as the initial challenge to the other maps.

“It is transparent that striking down the unconstitutional congressional and state Senate maps, on the one hand, while allowing an unconstitutional state Assembly map to remain intact, on the other hand, would make no legal or practical sense,” Wax’s lawyer wrote in his filing challenging the maps. “Worse yet, doing so would call into question the integrity and competence of the New York state government.”

Judge Patrick McAllister scheduled a hearing over Max’s motion for next Tuesday, May 10 in Bath.

Hudson Valley activist Gary Greenberg told the New York Daily News Friday that he will also file a legal challenge to the Assembly maps. Greenberg wrote on Twitter that he would file his challenge on Tuesday.

The court-appointed redistricting expert, Carnegie Mellon University Professor Jonathan Cervas, will hear testimony in a hearing Friday. He’s been ordered to complete the maps by May 16, with the court looking to finalize them by May 20.

Last week, McAllister officially pushed back primary elections for state Senate and congressional races until Aug. 23. Primary elections for all other offices will still take place in June unless the state Legislature decides to move them.

*This story has been updated to correct Gavin Wax's last name.

Vaughn Golden has been reporting across New York since 2016. Working as a freelancer while studying journalism and economics at Ithaca College, Vaughn has reported for a number of outlets including the Albany Times Union, New York Post, and NPR among others. Prior to coming to WSKG full-time, Vaughn was a reporter for the Watertown Daily Times. Vaughn now covers government and politics for WSKG.