Democratic congressional candidate Nate McMurray called the decision "shocking" and "embarrassing" after a judge scheduled his opponent’s insider trading trial for well over a year from now.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul used a different adjective.
"I find it appalling that a judge wouldn't have recognized that this is no ordinary defendant here, that we're talking about someone who is in a great position of power and authority and influence so postponing it that long is troubling," Hochul said.
However, legal analyst John Elmore said a judge is more likely to make sure a trial is fair than fast, especially if the defense asks for more time.
"The speedy trial is a right that the U.S. Constitution, under the 6th Amendment, affords the defendants. It's not concerned with the public's right to a speedy trial or the prosecution's right to a speedy trial," he said.
Elmore said he's not surprised Collins trial was scheduled for February 2020 — in fact, as cases of this magnitude go, he said it's par for the course.
Specifically, in New York City where there's a heavy caseload, Elmore said delays are expected.
"Congressman Collins is not in custody," he said. "Cases where a defendant is in custody takes priority over cases where somebody is not in custody."
He said there will still be plenty of litigation between now and then as both sides make motions and go through the process of discovery to collect evidence. He also pointed out there could be negotiations over a plea and while the attorney doesn't necessarily agree with McMurray, that Collins hopes to use his congressional seat to strengthen his bargaining position, he said a potential resignation could have an impact.
"I would say that a sentencing judge and a prosecution would consider the collateral consequences of a congressman resigning from Congress to be a punishment," Elmore said.
Democrats said many of their concerns are rendered moot if McMurray wins in November.