The new district lines drawn this year by state Democratic lawmakers in the Assembly are facing further legal scrutiny after a motion filed late Sunday evening challenged the constitutionality of the map.
The legal challenge from New York Young Republican Club President Gavin Wax comes as Hudson Valley businessman Gary Greenberg has also signaled plans to file a lawsuit to challenge the legality of the Assembly map.
It also dovetails with the successful lawsuit against the lawmaker-drawn districts for the U.S. House of Representatives and state Senate in New York. The top court's ruling last week did not reject the Assembly map.
“I will not stand for New Yorkers to suffer from the whims of an unconstitutional and undemocratic process,” Wax said. “The exclusion of State Assembly District maps from the special master’s redistricting efforts will subject New Yorkers to a decade of misrepresentation in state government.”
The state Court of Appeals ruling last week did not reject the constitutionality of the state Assembly districts. But the new legal challenges could lead to the third and final map also be tossed out and sent to a special master.
“New York’s highest court has already indicated that the State Assembly maps were subject to an unconstitutional process, and it is in the public interest that these maps be corrected now,” said Aaron Foldenauer, the election lawyer who filed paperwork in the proceeding. “There is more than enough time to draw new maps that pass constitutional muster and hold free and fair elections.”
Wax's legal challenge was filed in the same Steuben County court in which the successful redistricting lawsuit to the congressional and state Senate maps originated. If victorious, the Assembly maps could also be thrown into a similar state of flux.
A special master has been appointed to submit revised maps by May 20 for the U.S. House districts in New York as well as for the state Senate.
New York's top court determined the lawmaker-drawn maps violated a 2014 state constitutional amendment approved by voters. Lawmakers had taken control of the redistricting process earlier this year after a commission failed to reach an agreement on new lines.
The development has upended the state's election calendar as result. A state Supreme Court judge last Friday ordered the state's party primaries be split into two dates: June 28 for the races unaffected by the Court of Appeals ruling; Aug. 23 for the state Senate and Congress.
For now, primaries for state Assembly races will still be held June 28, though the outcome of the legal challenges could change the date.