A federal judge added a new chapter to the saga of New York's redistricting process Tuesday when he annnounced that he would form a panel to decide whether the process should be taken out of the hands of lawmakers and put in the confidence of a special master appointed solely for this job.
The move by Dennis Jacobs, chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, came a day after Dora Irizarry, a Brooklyn Federal District Court judge, ruled that the courts needed to take over, a request echoed by those who have been criticizing the lines since they were released last month.
Critics have denounced the lines as being gerrymandered and as an effort by lawmakers to exclude minorities from having a voice. Cuomo has already threatened to veto the lines if they are not fixed.
Irizarry, in a statement released Monday, worried that lawmakers would not take action quick enough for the congressional primaries that are to be held in June. Lawmakers have not yet finished the congressional districts, which are required to be redrawn according to information from the 2010 Census.