Advertisement

NY Supreme Court Justice Rules Dems Gerrymandered Congressional Districts, Rejects Maps

Advertisement

OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A New York Supreme Court justice has rejected a Democrat-drawn redistricting map and ordered the majority party to work with Republicans on a new one after determining it had been illegally gerrymandered.

The new maps were approved and signed into law by Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul in February following the 2020 Census, which is a measurement of the population done every 10 years as prescribed by the Constitution.

“It is meant to provide a chance to rectify fluctuations in the number of residents so that each district is as equal in population to all other congressional districts in the state. In practice, it is often a highly-contested process whereby Democrats and Republicans jostle to redraw the maps in their favor,” the Daily Mail reported.

Advertisement

The report added:

New York is one of nine states to have independent commissions to decide the maps – the others are Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, Montana, and Washington.

But in New York, the independent commission became bogged down in bickering, with Democratic and Republican members unable to agree.

That by default gave the Democrats — who control the governorship and supermajorities in both the State Senate and Assembly for the first time in decades — an essentially free rein to do as they choose.

The resulting map gave Democrats huge new majorities, making the most substantial changes than any other state thus far. It puts as many as four current House Republicans from New York at risk of losing their seats thanks to moving congressional district lines on Long Island, in New York City, and upstate.

The state Senate map also made similar gerrymandered changes.

“The new maps would see an increase of three Democratic-leaning seats, a decrease of three Republican-leaning seats, and a decrease of one highly competitive seat from the old map,” the Daily Mail reported.

Advertisement

“If the map survives its legal challenge, it would likely set up Democrats to flip the open Republican-held 1st and 22nd districts, as well as the seat held by Nicole Malliotakis, the 11th District, which encompasses Staten Island – the only Republican area of New York City,” the outlet continued.

“It’s clear to all that Albany Democrats redrew our district to tilt the scale & steal our seat,” Malliotakis tweeted. “It’s not just wrong, it’s also a violation of our State Constitution. Today, the NY Supreme Court agreed. We are encouraged by the action of the court & we await the new district maps.”

Chris Christie, the former GOP governor of New Jersey and current chairman of the National Republican Redistricting Trust, called the Democrat map shameful.

“The Democrats in New York should be ashamed of themselves for what they tried to do here,” he said, according to the Daily Mail.

Advertisement

The map led Justice Patrick F. McAllister of the State Supreme Court to say that Democrats were using tactics for which they had denounced Republicans while labeling the redrawing of the maps to gain political advantage – known as gerrymandering – a ‘scourge’ on democracy.

“The court finds by clear evidence and beyond a reasonable doubt that the congressional map was unconstitutionally drawn with political bias,” McAllister, a Republican from upstate New York, wrote.

“Gerrymandering discrimination hurts everyone because it tends to silence minority voices,” he added. “When we choose to ignore the benefits of compromise we not only hurt others, we hurt ourselves as well.”

Advertisement

In his ruling, he ordered the Democrat majority to create new “bipartisanly supported maps” by April 11.

If they do not create an acceptable map, McAllister said he would appoint a special master to redraw them, which could put current candidates in limbo for weeks on end while also delaying June primaries. But most political observers think that Democrats will simply appeal to lower appellate courts where they are expected to find more sympathy.

Maryland, Ohio, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Florida also have congressional redistricting maps before the courts.

Advertisement

Related Articles

Send this to a friend