The New York State Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down the legislature’s new congressional map as unconstitutional, ruling that it was drawn with the intent to elect more Democrats.
This comes in an election cycle where Democrats continue to accuse the GOP of everything from disenfranchising voters to gerrymandering in states under Republican control. However, courts have already tossed the congressional map drawn by Maryland Democrats, ruling the unconstitutional map “subverts the will of those governed.”
The Wednesday ruling means that the map, signed by Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul in February, must be redrawn by a court-appointed special master before this year’s midterms. The rejected congressional map had 20 Democratic-leaning and 4 Republican-leaning districts, with two others closely contested but still favoring Democrats.
New York voters in 2014 approved a measure to have maps drawn up by an independent commission made up of an equal number of Democrats and Republicans. However, the body could not agree on a particular set of maps, so the Democratic legislature drew its own which were quickly signed by the Democratic governor.
A group of Republican voters sued, alleging the legislature did not follow legal procedures in configuring the maps, and the Court of Appeals agreed.
The court added that the state’s primary elections, now scheduled for June, will likely need to be moved to August. Campaigns are already ongoing, and candidates may be appealing to voters who will not decide their candidacy when the map issue is finally settled.
Part of the Democrats’ motivation to redraw districts overwhelmingly in their favor is the national battle for control of the U.S. House. After the 2020 census, New York is set to lose a congressional seat this year. With most political analysts predicting a GOP surge in November’s midterms, gerrymandered districts in the state could offset Democratic losses elsewhere.
By virtually guaranteeing Democratic victories in nearly all congressional districts, New York leaders hoped to circumvent the Constitution and sway the pivotal midterm elections their way. Come to think of it, that’s remarkably similar to accusations flung at Republicans daily by the left and their media partners.