Smith Hanging On For Legal Purposes as Senate Approaches 31-31

ALBANY—The Democratic lawsuit expected to be heard again in Supreme Court this morning is stalling negotiations over the State Senate leadership, and allowing State Senator Malcolm Smith to keep his tenuous hold on the position of conference leader.
Several Democratic senators said that Smith would have been deposed–likely for State Senator John Sampson–were it not for the pending litigation. One argument advanced by the Democrats is that no vote was taken to remove Smith during the floor coup last Monday; as such, he remains majority leader for a two-year term.
“Possession is nine-tenths of the law,” one Democratic senator said.