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Court Orders Congressional District Map Redrawn In This State, Who Benefits?

A New York state court in the Appellate Division, Third Department, on Thursday ordered the state’s Independent Redistricting Commission to redraw the state’s congressional district map.

The ruling is believed to be a big win for Democrats in hopes of redrawing New York’s congressional districts before the 2024 election.

Republicans are expected to appeal the decision to the state’s highest court.

The looming battle will likely determine the results of the redistricting battle.

According to CNN, Democrats lost several congressional seats in New York in the 2022 mid-term election cycle.

Politico reports:

Former Rep. John Faso, who has helped organize Republican efforts around redistricting in recent years, confirmed the ruling will be challenged.

“We remain confident the Court of Appeals will uphold the decision in Harkenrider v. Hochul – 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 state judiciary threw out lines Democrats drew in 2022 that would have given the party clear advantages in 22 of New York’s 26 congressional seats. Then, court-drawn maps and strong Republican turnout resulted in last year’s midterm elections where Democrats won only 15 of the 26 seats.

The Democratic maps were tossed when the courts concluded that lawmakers did not take the proper steps before drawing the lines themselves. A new Independent Redistricting Commission was supposed to come up with two draft plans before the state Legislature could pick up the mapmaking pen, but they never met again after releasing one draft plan and a Steuben County judge took over the process.

If the decision is upheld, New York state Democrats may gain control of redrawing the district maps in The Empire State.

CNN wrote:

The fate of the case at the state’s highest court is unclear. That court ruled against the Democratic legislature, which had attempted to draw its own maps after the commission’s failure, before the 2022 elections. However, the court’s makeup has since changed. The chief judge who wrote that opinion has retired, and the new judge who joined the panel is considered more liberal.

Even if the decision is upheld, there’d be a long road ahead.

If the Democratic-controlled legislature rejects the map or set of maps submitted the commission, they’d be able to take over the process, although further litigation would be likely.

With Republicans maintaining a slight advantage in the U.S. House of Representatives, this redistricting case could play a significant role in the 2024 election.

Read the full ruling HERE.


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