Supreme Court says judges need to respect legislators' partisan plans for redistricting in Texas

Independently drawn legislative lines. (Common Cause)
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Governor Andrew Cuomo has vowed to veto the results of any redistricting process run by lawmakers, which would mean a legal fight over the boundaries of congressional and legislative districts in New York.

But a Supreme Court ruling today about a redistricting fight in Texas may foreshadow some troubling news for redistricting advocates in New York, as the deadline for putting in place a new set of lines approaches. The court ruled that when a lower court went about redrawing the lines in Texas, it didn't give enough consideration to the plan already drawn up by Texas lawmakers. (The lawmakers' plan, produced by a Republican-controlled legislature, was designed to help Republicans.)

"[E]xperience has shown the difficulty of defining neutral legal principles in this area, for redistricting ordinarily involves criteria and standards that have been weighed and evaluated by the elected branches in the exercise of their political judgement," the justices wrote in today's ruling. "To avoid being compelled to make such otherwise standardless decisions, a district court should take guidance form the State's recently enacted plan."

They went on to say that because the lower court in Texas "had the benefit of a recently enacted plan to assist it, the court had neither the need nor the license to cast aside that vital aid."

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2012

Former representative Susan Molinari attacks Newt Gingrich, in a TV ad airing in South Carolina. [Judy Randall]

PIPA and SOPA

Dodd, head of the MPAA, said there's a "disconnect" between the business and political interests within Hollywood, which became clear in this legislative fight. [Michael Cieply]

A newspaper publisher saw that disconnect too. [Rupert Murdoch]

A Republican assemblyman wants a resolution from the legislature telling Congress not to pass those bills. [Rebecca Melinitsky]

The legislation "goes too far." [Rep. Eliot Engel]

There was an "inspiring level of engagement." [Rep. Ed Towns]

Same-Sex Marriage

Bloomberg's push for it nationally is seen as encroaching on Cuomo's turf. [Nick Reisman]

"I would welcome the president to speak out on this," Bloomberg said. [Byron Tau]

Headline: "Bloomberg Would 'Welcome' Obama Stepping Up on Gay Marriage" [Matt Negrin]

Cuomo, by contrast, said earlier, "Far be it from me to give the president political or policy advice." [Azi Paybarah]

NY-13

Democratic challenger Mark Murphy mocks Rep. Michael Grimm's comment defending Romney. [Colin Campbell]

Murphy may face a primary from a former councilman who was once a Republican. [Colin Campbell]

Redistricting

The Supreme Court said a lower court didn't take enough guidance from legislature when it tried redrawing legislative lines in Texas. [Adam Liptak]

Cuomo

Two pedestrians were hit in two days, by state vehicles driven by the governor's security detail. [Associated Press]

Both incidents were near Cuomo's home in Westchester. [Associated Press]

Neither the governor nor staff were in the car during either incident. [Associated Press]

His bill to legalize casino gambling is only eight words long. [Jon Campbell]

A Times editorial board member says the "risk" for the casino is "really for 'blue collar' folks who gamble away the mortgage." [@EleanorRandolph]

"Governor Andrew Cuomo seems not to fear being called the food stamp governor." [Karen DeWitt]

Transportation

Adding one new taxi is "equivalent to adding 40 private cars. Adding 2000 of them - as the city now intends to do during the next three years - would be the traffic equivalent of adding 80,000 cars, a 10 percent increase in volume." [Charles Komanoff]

A proposed Tennessee resolution asks New York to use "common sense" in prosecuting a tourist for carrying a gun into their state, and warns New York drivers to pay "extra attention to our speed limits." [Alex Silverman]

Local

Someone started a website that sounds supportive of Councilman Eric Ulrich, but isn't. [ElectEricUlrich.com]

Quinn said the top real-estate issue in the city is "how to get more buildings built." [Adam Pincus]

Media

Ben Smith hired Doree Shfrir to cover culture for Buzzfeed. [Brian Stelter]

Quotes

"Vice President Joe Biden fumbled his lines as he yelled to a crowd of cheering San Francisco 49ers fans, 'The Giants are on their way to the Super Bowl.'" [Adam Nichols]

Images

The ratio of single men to single women in New York City. [nycedc.tumblr] ratio500

Bloomberg spoke about the need for teacher evaluation. [c-span.org]

An artistic sketch of a state senator. [@SenatorParker]

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Young kids learn to "mic-check" during a celebration of Martin Luther King's birthday. [Councilman Stephen Levin]

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Speaking on Korean radio. [Rory Lancman]

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Councilwoman Jessica Lappin, D.O.T. commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and Assemblyman Micah Kellner open a pedestrian bridge on 78th Street. [Facebook]

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The communications director for Protect Your Care & Know Your Care uses a Fox News truck for a photo op. [Eddie Vale]

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