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

Steuben County Judge Patrick McAllister, wearing his black robes and face mask, sits at his bench with a wall calendar behind him.
Vaughn Golden
Steuben County Judge Patrick McAllister ordered August primaries for State Senate and Congressional races last week.

A court in Steuben County is working through the process of redrawing New York's Congressional and state Senate maps, after they were ruled unconstitutional last week. New legal challenges now want to overturn state Assembly districts, as well.

Gavin Max, 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,” Max’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.