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The Empire

State court on 63-seat senate proposal: we can't get involved yet--updated

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State Supreme Court Judge Richard Braun agreed to dismiss a lawsuit over Senate Republicans' proposed 63-seat redistricting maps, saying the proposed lines are just that, a proposal, and thus wasn't subject to a constitutional review.

"The controversy in this action/proceeding is simply not ripe for the court's review," Braun wrote in his decision. "At this point, a 63-seat State Senate is merely a recommendation...that may not be enacted by the Legislature or signed into law by the Governor, and thus the matter is not justiciable."

Senate Democrats, who were behind the lawsuit, say the decision today doesn't mean the issue is settled.

"The Judge made it clear that this is simply a procedural move related to timing and if Republicans try to pass their unconstitutional lines containing a 63rd Senate District the Court will be ready to step in," Senate Democratic spokesman Michael Murphy said in a statement.

Senate Republicans haven't released a statement yet but if and when they do we'll update.

Senate Republican spokesperson Scott Reif sent this response: "The size of the Senate is dictated by a formula in the State Constitution, and that formula requires us to add a 63rd seat.  We are pleased with this ruling and continue to believe that our plan is legally and constitutionally sound."

Cohen - MTD Order and Opinion