Lawsuit against Onondaga County legislative maps wins first major legal milestone.

On January 12, 2023 we won a major victory in our lawsuit against Onondaga County Legislative maps. The County has spent the last three months delaying our suit asking for it to be dismissed on a technicality instead of defending their illegal maps. Their motion has now been dismissed and we can now move to trial.

We still need help. As this lawsuit progresses we will have appeals and depositions. We can can win this suit with your help. Please donate what you can to our cause here: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ocdcddf

Below is our press release, the order dismissing their attempt to stop our suit, and a page I have dedicated on my website for all things relating to this lawsuit.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, January 13, 2023

Contact: Max Ruckdeschel, Chair (315) 484-3120

COUNTY LEGISLATURE REDISTRICTING LAWSUIT ADVANCES“We will not stop fighting until the residents of Onondaga County have fair maps for their legislature.”– Max Ruckdeschel, Onondaga County Democratic Committee Chair

Syracuse, NY – The Onondaga County Democratic Committee (OCDC) applauds the ruling filed Thursday by Supreme Court Justice Joseph E. Lamendola that the redistricting lawsuit has merit and will continue. The lawsuit argues that the legislative maps drawn by County Executive Ryan McMahon and his staff and passed by the Onondaga County Legislature are illegal.

OCDC Chair Max Ruckdeschel said, “I am pleased that Judge Lamendola allowed all of our arguments against the current maps to go forward.  First, that they were not legally created because the county executive and his staff have no authority to draw district maps and propose them to the legislature for approval.  Secondly, that the maps as drawn are unconstitutional and do not follow the requirements of municipal home rule law. I look forward to the successful conclusion of this lawsuit with a ruling that the current maps are null and void.”

County Legislature Minority Leader Christopher Ryan said, “If you are of the opinion that Partisan Political gerrymandering has no place in the re-drawing of County Legislature District Maps, then you will agree that today is a good day. I am very happy to know that despite the County Executive’s effort to have our lawsuit dismissed, that effort was denied.  I’m optimistic to know that County residents that believe in fair and equitable representation will now have their day in court.”

Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny said, “I am glad that the court is allowing our suit to progress to the merits.  The County has still not answered our suit and defended their maps.  That is because they are indefensible.  We are confident we will win this suit on the merits and the citizens of Onondaga County will get another chance to get fair maps.”

Throughout the purposefully rushed redistricting process, members of the Onondaga County Democratic Committee, along with the general public, warned the redistricting commission, the legislature, and Ryan McMahon that the maps were illegal.  Not only were they racially and politically gerrymandered to favor the Republican Party, but they did not attempt to keep communities whole, as required by law.  

Public comment at each hearing was almost universally against the maps and the process that created them, but the redistricting commission had no intention of ever listening to the public.  This was made obvious when the first public hearings were scheduled before there were even proposed maps to discuss!

Ryan McMahon knew that these maps were gerrymandered, illegal, and unconstitutional, but he rammed them through the legislature anyway because it benefitted himself and the Republican Party.

The citizens of Onondaga County need to know that the Onondaga County Democratic Committee is committed to seeing this lawsuit to its successful conclusion.

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3 thoughts on “Lawsuit against Onondaga County legislative maps wins first major legal milestone.

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