Love the Constitution, not politics: Justice Larry Love must void the Assembly maps pronto
Larry Love is a man of the house, the Assembly, where he served for two dozen years as a top aide to Queens Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, her entire tenure. When she left to become Queens county clerk, a high-paying plum, Love was installed by the Democratic machine in 2012 as a Civil Court judge, unopposed in the primary or general, the way they like in Queens. In 2018, the machine gave him a 14-year term on state Supreme Court.
But Love’s not in the Assembly anymore and he’s not in the clubhouse. He’s not even in Queens Supreme, having been assigned to Manhattan, where this morning he’ll hear the most important case of his career, about his beloved Assembly having district lines for the next decade that unequivocally violate the state Constitution.
His loyalties and sympathies are apparent, but his sworn duty to the Constitution is higher. Love must follow the clear letter of the Constitution as handed down by the Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court, just weeks ago. He must order the Assembly maps thrown out and new ones drawn and delay the June 28 primary, as was done with maps for state Senate and Congress. Make it Aug. 23 or later. The whole of the redistricting is rotten at the core, as Chief Judge Janet DiFiore wrote; she and the majority only spared the Assembly maps for lack of a plaintiff.
That plaintiff, actually three of them, now stand before Love at 60 Centre St. The case is heading back to the high court in Albany, so Love must be quick. There is sufficient time for a new Assembly map, regardless of what the bipartisan hacks at the state Board of Elections claim. There are eons of time. The special master, Jonathan Cervas, can whip up fair maps with his computer in a jiffy.