Court Orders New York To Draw New Congressional Map, Democrats Expected To Gain Seats
New York US state law, code, legal system and justice concept with a 3d render of a gavel on the New Yorker flag on background.

A New York appeals court sided with Democrats in a redistricting case that could end up handing the party multiple Republican-held seats in the 2024 elections.

In a split decision, the Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court scrapped New York’s 2022 map for the U.S. House of Representatives — which enabled Republicans to gain four House seats — restarting a redistricting process that is expected to end up before the Democrat-dominated legislature. 

The court ruled that the competitive map used in the 2022 midterm elections was only a temporary fix and ordered the state’s Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) to redraw the map for 2024. However, it is likely that the IRC will not be able to agree on a map, handing the power over to the Democrat-dominated legislature — exactly what happened in 2022.

“The IRC had an indisputable duty under the NY Constitution to submit a second set of maps upon the rejection of its first set … It is undisputed that the IRC failed to perform this duty,” Justice Peter Lynch wrote in the decision. 

The legislature then enacted a map that heavily favored their party, but the New York Court of Appeals struck the map down as a partisan gerrymander, which is illegal under the state’s constitution.

What is different this time is that the state’s highest court has shifted incredibly to the left since then. This means that the court could uphold a similar map and allow the Democrats to gerrymander several Republicans out of office.

Under the Democrats’ 2022 map, the party had a clear advantage in 22 of the state’s 26 seats. They only won 15 seats under the neutral court-drawn map

The decision drew immediate condemnation from Republicans. “After failing to win at the ballot box last November, New York Democrats are attempting a blatant partisan power grab thinly disguised as a court case,” Jack Pandol, a spokesman for the House Republicans’ campaign arm, said in a statement.

“New York State now has more competitive congressional districts than any state in the nation,” Former Rep. John Faso (R-NY) said. “Democrats want to rig the congressional district lines in their favor.”

“When Democrats can’t compete, they cheat. Their illegal gerrymander violated the State Constitution and bucked the will of the voters,” Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and state Republican chair Ed Cox said about the Democrats’ 2022 map in a joint statement. 

A new Democrat-drawn map could endanger Republican representatives across the state, including long island Reps. George Santos and Anthony D’Esposito, Staten Island Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, and Hudson Valley Reps. Michael Lawler, and Marc Molinaro.

Redistricting battles are raging across the country, as the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a map in Alabama, forcing the state to draw a second majority-black district this summer. Republicans in North Carolina also seek to draw a more favorable map after the state’s supreme court shifted to the right.

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