New York - Judge sets deadlines for State Senate race challenges
New York - Jonathan Lippman, the chief judge of New York State, on Thursday moved to expedite vote counting in three State Senate races that remain undecided, a step aimed at resolving the Senate’s leadership before the start of the new legislative session in January.
The judge’s order came a day after Andrew M. Cuomo, the governor-elect, wrote a letter to Judge Lippman asking him to take the step, fearing that a Senate in flux would disrupt the new administration.
In an administrative order released Thursday, the judge laid out a series of mandated dates by which the various levels of the court system would complete hearings and make their determinations. The timetable culminates on Dec. 20, when the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, hears all pending State Senate election matters.
In a letter sent Thursday to Mr. Cuomo, the chief judge wrote: “I am in full agreement with you that swift judicial resolution of the legal issues presented in these matters is of critical importance. The New York State Unified Court System is therefore taking immediate steps to ensure that all three pending election cases are fully and finally resolved before the end of the calendar year.”
Mr. Cuomo said he was gratified by the judge’s decision. “It is vitally important that the State has a fully functional Legislature capable of addressing the myriad of issues we all face in these challenging times,” Mr. Cuomo said in a statement.