News Coverage on 2012 Redistricting Cuomo Amendment
For redistricting case, Cuomo retains Cohen’s firmJimmy Vielkind
A sharp-eyed follower of legal briefs noticed something interesting in last week’s reply papers in the still-simmering redistricting lawsuit: Gov. Andrew Cuomo has retained outside counsel.
The governor’s normal lawyer in all official matters is the attorney general (really, people in his office, but you get my drift), and lawyers from the Department of Law represented Cuomo in a federal challenge to the redistricting process. But he’s taken a different tack for litigation in state court challenging the legality of the Senate’s upsizing to 63 districts.
Last week, Cuomo brought on outside attorneys from Zuckerman Spaeder, the boutique litigation firm that was thelanding pad for Steve Cohen, Cuomo’s top aide for his four years as attorney general and part of his first year as governor.
Cuomo’s spokesman Josh Vlasto referred questions to Danny Kanner, a spokesman for Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who simply explained, “Given that both houses sought outside counsel for this case, the Governor’s office and Attorney General’s office mutually agreed that the executive would do the same.”
Ah. The “everybody else is doing it” explanation. Always a solid standby.
Kanner as well as Amit Mehta, a partner at Zuckerman, said the representation would be pro-bono.
And Cohen doesn’t seem to be involved in the case: the attorney listed in the papers is Paul Shechtman.
If you’re wondering, Cuomo is continuing his legal strategy of standing mute through these legal challenges. My favorite excerpt: “Respondents deny knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief regarding the truth or falsity of the allegations in paragraph 36 of the complaint except,” wait for it, “admit that there was a Constitutional Convention in 1894 and,” it gets better, “that New York City and Brooklyn were fast growing metropolises.”
No doubt. But who even knew metropolises was a word?