A bipartisan group on Monday brought yet another legal challenge to the lawmaker-drawn district lines in the state Assembly after two attempts to overturn the maps failed last week.
This legal challenge unites the two previous plaintiffs in the redistricting challenge, and comes as the state Senate and U.S. House maps drawn by a court-appointed special master could be released as early as Monday.
The lawsuit against the state Assembly maps is being brought by Republican activist Gavin Wax, Democratic Greene County businessman Gary Greenberg and Paul Nichols, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate.
"A fundamental part of democracy is fair elections. The New York state Legislature and governor willfully implemented redistricting maps that did not meet the requirements of the New York state constitution," Greenberg said. "The voters deserve constitutionally correct legislative districts and candidates gaining signatures in the correct districts. Only moving the primary day to occur on one day, redrawing all districts to comply with constitutional requirements and collecting signatures in the new districts will ensure fair and competitive elections."
The complaint is the latest legal challenge to New York's lawmaker-drawn districts. The state's top court in April determined the maps for the state Senate and U.S. House districts in New York were unconstitutional, and a court-appointed expert was tasked with drawing new ones.
But the state Assembly maps were left untouched by the legal challenge. Republican lawmakers who are in the minority have said the maps were drawn with their input, and did not dispute the maps as unfair.
Opponents, however, point to the Court of Appeals ruling for the congressional and state Senate boundaries, which were found to have been violation of a voter-approved constitutional amendment outlining a revised process for redistricting.
A commission tasked with drawing the lines this year could not reach an agreement on the new maps, throwing the process to the Legislature, which ultimately submitted and approved maps in February.
After the Court of Appeals rejected those maps, Special Master Jonathan Cervas was appointed to submit revised lines. As a result, the party primaries for the U.S. House and state Senate races have been pushed back from June 28 to Aug. 23.