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Nassau Judge Ceases Vote on Redistricting

New maps would not go in effect for this election, according to decision.

A Nassau County judge has ruled that the legislature cannot vote Republicans’ proposed redistricting into law for this year’s election.

Judge Steven Jaeger ruled in favor of Nassau Democratic legislators in their suit against County Executive Ed Mangano and Republican members of the legislature and granted a temporary restraining order to stop the maps from going into effect this year.

We’re encouraged that the court agreed with us that this hasty redistricting plan, which violates our county charter, should be stopped in its tracks,” said David Gugerty, counsel for the minority. “We’re further confident that when the merits of this action are heard, the court will agree with us. This is the best and most sensible method so voters are not disenfranchised.”

The Republicans proposed redistricting would move more than 500,000 voters into new districts and would likely impact elections for the next decade. It would place half of the Five Towns into a newly created minority district, Hempstead into three districts, divide Bellmore and Merrick and add Seaford to Denise Ford’s district.

Nassau County Attorney John Ciampoli called the action “unprecedented and contrary to the law.” He also cited a case law from the appellate division that says the legislature cannot be stopped from acting.

Democratic attorney Steve Schlesinger said the decision means there could be redistricting until the court makes its final determination. He said he’d assume the legislature would table the vote on the maps on Monday. The case may return to court May 26.

“I don’t think this is so much [a victory] for the Democratic Party, but for the people of Nassau County for a full and open redistricting process,” he said. “Not move 500,000 people and move them around and craft a super-majority for yourself, locked away in a room, and not tell anyone.”

Nassau Legislative Majority Leader Peter Schmitt, R-Massapequa, added "we’re reviewing the judge’s decision."

Geoffrey Walter contributed to this story.

Frank Scarangella May 13, 2011 at 01:22 PM
YOUR RIGHT ONLY DEMOCRATS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO CHANGE DISTRICTS MAPS ...HOW ABOUT A MAYOR FOR EVERY BLOCK AND SCHOOL SUPERENTENDENT FOR EVERY STUDENT AFTER ALL WE STILL HAVE 40% of our income left...
GORT May 14, 2011 at 12:10 AM
Frank and Dante points are the valid ones legally. Melissa, your opinion is valid but that doesn't make it valid legally. Democrats re-district as soon as they come into power, they plan it and implement it as soon as it is legal to do so. Republican were legal in this process and the judge had no business hearing the case at all. Yes redistricting is partisan, and it does negativly affect some people in the community - but i never hear any cries when the Demnocrats do it, let alone a partisan lawsuit with a partisan judge.
Frank Scarangella May 14, 2011 at 01:00 AM
aren't we losing 2 congressional seats because NY is losing population?
melissa gates May 14, 2011 at 04:25 AM
Thank you, GORT...I get it...there is the legal side and the politics side and the human side...when you put it all together there is whole lot of wrong going on here...in the end for me, since I am not knowledgeable enough to comment on the the legal side, and not even interested enough on the political side, and can only say from the human side that something is terribly fishy in Denmark...that there is a whole hell of a lot here that just ain't right...who among us can fix it? That is the question...
Frank Scarangella May 14, 2011 at 11:34 AM
i asked the county excutives office yesterday why do we pay legistators when political hack judge's make all the laws . al lwe need to pay is one of these gas bags to tell us how we are going to live and what it will cost us.

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