Judge Dismisses Democratic Challenge to Senate Coup

ALBANY—Finally, after delaying for negotiations four times, Justice Thomas McNamara dismissed a lawsuit filed by Democrats to declare Malcolm Smith the leader of the State Senate.

I'm not in court because I was covering David Paterson, who spoke with reporters, but got the news from Democratic attorney Michael Kink's Twitter feed.

Republicans told me last night that they believe this means the vote they took last week electing Pedro Espada Jr. as president pro tempore and Dean Skelos as majority leader is valid.

Democrats say this does not mean Espada Jr. and Skelos were sanctioned by McNamara as the legal leaders of the chamber. An appeal is expected.

This means the leadership struggle will continue. Meanwhile, Republicans have scheduled a session for 3 p.m. We will see if they have the 32 votes necessary to form a quorum to act on legislation.

Judge Dismisses Democratic Challenge to Senate Coup