Judge Rules to Uphold Albany Coup; Still, Nobody Knows Who Has Won

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After threatening four times over five days that he was going to rule, State Supreme Court justice Thomas McNamara has finally acted, dismissing the case brought by State Senate Democrats that sought to overturn last Monday's leadership coup.

So what does it mean? We’re talking about Albany, so no one agrees. I happened to be on the phone with Blair Horner, NYPIRG’s Albany lobbyist, when the decision was announced. He got the news on Twitter, from a Democratic source whose quick interpretation was that the dismissal merely kicks the issue back onto the floor of the legislature. Then a pair of Republican senators walked past Horner in the capitol hallway. “They’re smiling,” Horner said. “They certainly think they’ve won.” Well, the ruling does leave in place last week’s 32–30 vote making Pedro Espada Jr. Senate president and Republican Dean Skelos the majority leader. But thanks to yesterday’s re-defection (un-defection?) of Hiram Monserrate, there is no majority to lead; the Senate is split 31–31. The Democrats — surprise — are promising to appeal.