Long-suffering Acting Supreme Court Justice Thomas J. McNamara says, all right, smart guys, I’ve had it (this is not an exact quote) and has dismissed the Albany Democrats’ case against the Espada coup.
Capitol Confidential has the decision, which notes that there’s no provision in the state constitution for the choosing of a President Pro Tempore (which Espada claims to be), which throws the matter back to “generally accepted rules of parliamentary procedure which flow from general principles of common law.” For the court to interfere in the matter creates at least a “perception” that the court “would have an influence on the internal workings of the Senate,” says McNamara, which he considers finds “improper.”
That means the Dems, with 31 votes, and the GOP-Espada coalition, with 31 votes, have to wrangle it out themselves. Espada is reported pleased with the decision. He insists he remains president of the senate as installed by last week’s vote — though Democrats insist the ruling means that’s up to the full senate — and that despite Hiram Monserrate’s abandonment of his coalition, “It’s no longer up to Monserrate; quite frankly, it’s no longer up to any individual senator,” meaning if you want to drop him, come up with an extra vote.
Update: The Working Families Party has released a statement calling on such dissidents as still exist (i.e. Espada) to accept the Democratic power-sharing proposal, which they say “is a sensible response to the even split that has emerged between the two parties” that will “allow the State Senate to function again in a balanced, bipartisan way,” etc. But they’ve been giving Espada hell all along and it doesn’t seem to affect him much.
Update 2: The Wall Street Journal says, “Paterson Works to Resolve New York Senate Battle.” Well, what the hell, they’ve tried everything else.