Court Orders New York To Redraw Congressional Districts, Giving Democrats Better Chance To Reclaim House Majority
A mid-level appellate court ruled in favor of Democrats’ request to redraw New York’s congressional district lines. The new maps will be ready in time for the 2024 elections.
A New York court rejected lines that Democrats drew in 2022 that would have benefited the party in 22 of the state’s 26 congressional seats. The court then produced its own maps, which resulted in Democrats winning only 15 seats.
Since then, Democrats have argued that the 2022 maps should only apply to that year’s election. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee filed a lawsuit demanding the process to start from scratch before the 2024 election, and three of the five judges presiding over the case agreed.
“The procedures governing the redistricting process, all too easily abused by those who would seek to minimize the voters’ voice and entrench themselves in the seats of power, must be guarded as jealous as the right to vote itself in granting this petition, we return the matter to its constitutional design,” the judges wrote in Thursday’s decision.
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The court ordered the Independent Redistricting Commission to start drafting new plans, allowing Democrats to vote on the maps early next year.
The case, however, is expected to be appealed by Republicans. Former Rep. John Faso, a known gerrymandering expert, confirmed that conservatives will challenge the ruling.
“We remain confident the Court of Appeals will uphold… that the fair lines established by the District Court will be maintained and will preserve the New York Constitution’s prohibition against mid-decade redistricting,” he said in a statement.
The Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, will ultimately make the final decision. The court has become more liberal due to a retirement since it last ruled on the issue.
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