Judge tosses NY Dems’ redistricting maps

New York Republicans just scored a legal victory.

The Washington Examiner reports that a New York judge has just tossed the Democrats’ redistricting maps.

Background

New York does have an Independent Redistricting Commission whose purpose is to develop fair redistricting maps. But, earlier this year, the commission reached a deadlock, which put the drawing up of the maps in the hands of New York lawmakers.

New York’s legislature is controlled by Democrats, so, you can guess what kind of maps they drew up. To provide one example, New York Democrats, on their congressional map, merged two Republican districts and eliminated another, while making a district currently controlled by Republicans more favorable to the Democrats.

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) signed the maps into effect in early February. State Republicans then quickly responded with a lawsuit challenging the maps, which is what brought the matter before the courts.

Illegal gerrymandering

Steuben County Judge Patrick McAllister this week tossed all three of the New York Democrats’ maps finding them to be illegally gerrymandered.

“What is clear from the testimony of virtually every expert is that at least in the congressional redistricting maps the drawers packed Republicans into four districts thus cracking the Republican voters in neighboring districts and virtually guaranteeing Democrats winning 22 seats,” McAllister wrote.

McAllister thus found the Democrats’ maps to be illegal because they failed “to follow the constitutional process of having bipartisan maps presented by the IRC.” Accordingly, McAllister voided the Democrats’ congressional maps.

He also tossed the Democrats’ General Assembly and state Senate maps because they were gerrymandered.

Looking forward

This is certainly a victory for New York Republicans. But, the likelihood is that it is only going to be a short-term victory.

New York Democrats have already made it clear that they will appeal McAllister’s decision. This, under New York state law, will stop McAllister’s decision from going into effect while the appeal is being litigated.

The likelihood is that the appeals process will not finish before this year’s elections, which are set to begin in June. This means that the current maps, which favor the Democrats, are likely to be used.

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