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Redistricting judge ordered to handle partisan bickering

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If the Democrats and Republicans can’t come to a compromise about this redistricting mess, then the courts will, a federal judge said this week as she ordered that the state’s redistricting process be turned over to a court-appointed special master.

Judge Dora Irizarry, citing legislators’ “current state of inaction” in redrawing state Senate and Assembly lines, made her decision on Monday, claiming that it was time for the federal courts to take charge of the situation.

“No congressional lines have been proposed through New York’s legislative process, much less adopted, even though the petitioning period is less than six weeks away,” Irizarry mentioned in her five-page decision, which claimed that “in 1992 and 2002, the New York State Legislature acted only after there was judicial interventi­on.”

Irizarry’s ruling was in response to a lawsuit by a group of civic leaders who claimed that the redistricting process in both the Assembly and the state Senate was too partisan to be trusted.

In Brooklyn, the Republican-led state Senate booted state Sen. Eric Adams out of his district, and erased disgraced state Sen. Carl Kruger’s district from the map.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs hailed Irizarry’s decision.

“We are gratified that the court recognized the danger legislative inaction poses to the fair conduct of New York’s elections and is taking steps to protect the voters of our state,” the lawyers told the Daily News.

The legislative task force that drew up the redistricting maps for the state Senate and state Assembly is currently holding hearings across the state. Gov. Cuomo has vowed to veto them if they do not change.

Twitter rapper arrested for murder

A Carroll Gardens drug dealer and self-professed rapper who rhymed and Tweeted about his dirty deeds is singing the blues — he has a murder rap hanging over his head.

Federal prosecutors have charged Ronald (Ra Diggs) Herron with three brutal slayings — including one connected to his raps. Herron would videotape his raps and put them on YouTube, making them an online resume of his nefarious activities, prosecutors say.

A Brooklyn Federal Court grand jury indicted him on Monday for the murders, which prosecutors say are connected to his drug enterprise at the Gowanus Houses.

“Ronald Herron and his gang terrorized a Brooklyn community for more than a decade and he temporarily got away with murder by threatening and intimidating witnesses only to return to the streets of Brooklyn to kill and kill again,” Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly also chimed in on Herron’s arrest.

“His Tweets were premature,” Kelly said.

Officials from the U.S. Attorney’s office told the Daily News that the drug crew Herron was a part of — the “Murderous Mad Dog” branch of the Bloods — basically ran the Gowanus Houses drug trade.

But cops didn’t have to take Herron into custody when the indictment came through on Monday: he was already in jail on federal drug charges, officials said.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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