New York’s Republican Takeover

Republicans, with the help of two dissident Democrats, have seized control of New York’s Senate, overthrowing the five-month-long Democratic leadership in the midst of a debate over legalizing same-sex marriage. The Republicans now have a 32-30 edge after staging a roll-call vote on the Senate’s leadership. The two Democrats who defected have not officially switched parties (and both, oddly enough, are being investigated by authorities—in one case for assault). Confusion descended as angry Democrats briefly turned off the lights in the chamber and threatened to leave. They will most likely challenge the coup in court on Monday. The liberal Assembly had passed the controversial measure to legalize same-sex marriage, but it’s been stalled in the Senate where many Republicans oppose it. Republicans had controlled the Senate for forty years until this January. The Democrats say their leadership structure will stay in place.