Point of clarity: The June 26 date so far only affects the federal election (i.e. for Congress). State legislators have to decide if they want to move their primary to June, instead of the September date. Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver warned of the danger of three primaries back in December.
It's a big win for Democratic legislators: Federal Judge Gary Sharpe has ruled the state's primary will be held on June 26. Republicans had argued the case for a date closer to the current September primary, specifically in August.
The decision doesn't affect the state's presidential primary date, which will be on April 24.
With little discussion of why he felt so, Judge Sharpe stated "the court concludes that the fourth Tuesday in June for the non-presidential primary is in the best interest of the State."
He went on to state:
However, this decision by no means precludes New York from reconciling their differences and selecting a different date, so long as the new date fully complies with UOCAVA. The court fully recognizes that a permanent primary date is best left to New York, but has acted as it must to preserve federally protected voting rights.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office had argued on the state's behalf. While not overtly calling for it, Schneiderman--a Democrat--suggested the June date would be better in the last set of documents provided to Sharpe:
The State therefore asks that the Court consider the attached submissions and the previous submissions made on behalf of the ECA, the State Assembly, the State Senate Minority leader, as well as various civic and civil rights groups – each of which sets forth grounds for holding the 2012 primary election in June.
The decision will only put more pressure on the redistricting process, which incumbents and challengers alike need finished to know which districts they'll be running in. The actual ruling is after the jump.