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Tug o' War Continues in the NY Senate

Thursday, June 11, 2009

An appellate court judge has granted State Senate Democrats an injunction that partially blocks the new coalition leadership from taking control. The order blocks Pedro Espada, the dissident Democrat elected Senate president on Monday, from being in line to succeed the governor if he's out of state, or if the job is vacated. A lower court had rejected Democrats' request for a restraining order, but the judge did schedule a hearing tomorrow on the legality of Monday's coup by Republicans, Espada, and another dissident Democrat, Hiram Monserrate.

The majority leader of that coalition, Republican Dean Skelos of Long Island, says the injunction will not prevent them from reconvening the Senate on Monday. But reporter Karen Dewitt says that's probably over-optimistic.

"I think it will take several days. I think we can be pretty certain that they're not going to be having a session on Monday. But by later in the week? Who knows. It's all uncharted territory, that's for sure."

The Republican coalition's first attempt at a session today ended after half an hour, because the Democrats locked away supplies and refused to provide a stenographer and because Monserrate left, saying he won't vote for any bill until more Democrats join in the session. Monserrate has been under intense pressure to rejoin the Democratic fold.

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