Nassau Republicans' redistricting unapproved
9/1/2011, 10:36 a.m.
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Looks like that loophole wasn't much of a loophole after all.
The state's highest court Tuesday threw out new boundaries that Nassau County Republicans drew for the county's 19 legislative districts this fall attempting to redistrict before upcoming elections.
In a 7-0 decision, the New York State Court of Appeals stated that the new plan can't go into effect until two years from now (2013). It reverses an Aug. 11 decision by the Second Judicial Department Appellate Panel, which voted in a 3-2 decision to uphold the new legislative districts drawn by the staff of County Attorney John Ciampoli earlier this year.
In May, Nassau County Republicans shoved through plans to redistrict much of the county. Passing in a 10-to-8 single vote at the Nassau County Legislature, many in the African-American community believed this would reduce their power and representatives wouldn't operate with their interests at heart. Legislator Denise Ford was the only Republican to vote against the redistricting plan.
Conservatives claimed to find a loop hole in one ordinance that says redistricting must be done in the six months after the release of new Census data. Jeffrey M. Wice, Council to the New York State Democratic Conference, told the AmNews back in June that the GOP thinking is off base.
"The Nassau County charter calls for a redistricting every 10 years and have it done in time for the 2013 election. Not 2011," stated Wice. "Yes, there is some confusing language in the county charter that says that the new census data should be used to describe the 'old district' with the new census data. But it does not mean that the lines should be redrawn. We're only 8 years into the current scheme."
The AmNews will have an extended story on the matter in this week's edition.