Judge to NY Lawmakers: Settle This Mess Yourselves

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2009 5:13 PM CDT
New York state Sen. Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, right, and Sen. Pedro Espada, D-Bronx, left, talk on the floor of the Senate in Albany today.   (AP Photo/Tim Roske)
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(Newser) – Judges' decisions sometimes clarify things in the real world, but not so much in the New York state legislature. A state judge today dismissed a case from Democrats, who say that Republicans illegally took control of the state Senate last week, reports the Daily News. The judge told the two parties they'd have to work it out themselves, leaving the question of just who's in charge in limbo.

For those keeping score: Pedro Espada, a Bronx Democrat who switched to the Republican side, is Senate president at the moment. But Republicans can't get a quorum because the other Democrat who defected, Hiram Monserrate, has since re-defected back to the Democrats. That leaves the Senate in a 31-31 deadlock, and Democrats still won't enter the chamber. The kicker? Any voting tie would be settled by the lieutenant governor, a post that's been vacant since David Paterson took over for Eliot Spitzer.