“Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court sets a precedent for future legislators to follow the exact process outlined in the constitutional amendment,” Faso added. “And this will force cooperation in future legislatures, whether they are governed by Republicans or Democrats, whether they have a supermajority or a small majority.”
The court also found that the process used to establish the congressional map “violated” the state constitution in a 4-3 judgment. New York’s constitution was amended in 2014, establishing an independent redistricting committee tasked with drawing a congressional map and presenting it to the state legislature for approval. The commission did not propose a second plan after the initial set of district lines failed to pass through the legislature. The now-blocked map was drawn at that time by the state legislature.
Rather than enabling the Democratic-led state legislature to pass a new map, the court’s ruling on Wednesday remanded the case to lower court Judge Patrick McCallister, who will work with a special master to draw a new map. McCallister has already named Jonathan Carves as a special master and has stated that the new congressional map would be released on May 24.
The State Board of Elections in New York is preparing to move portions of the state’s primary elections to accommodate for the removal of the congressional and state Senate maps.
.@GovkathyHochul was met by a group of hecklers at the New York State Democratic Convention as she accepted a nomination for a full term. Her supporters then tried to drown them out. pic.twitter.com/U0f6j3EhKy
— WNYT NewsChannel 13 (@WNYT) February 17, 2022
In a statement, John Conklin, the State Board of Elections’ director of public information, said, “The State Board staff stands ready to assist the Supreme Court in any way we are called upon to quickly develop a new Political Calendar for an August primary for the state Senate and the United States House of Representatives.”
New York is one of four states without an active congressional map, along with Missouri, New Hampshire, and Kansas, which had their map blocked on Monday.
New York’s highest court has ruled that the congressional map is unconstitutional, which is a major setback for Democrats. New York’s top court ruled on Wednesday that the state’s new congressional map was unconstitutionally intended to favor Democrats and ordered the boundaries redone, dealing a setback to Democrats’ chances of preserving a majority in the US Congress.
In November’s legislative elections, Republicans are largely expected to flip the five seats they need across the country to gain a majority in the House of Representatives, allowing them to obstruct much of Democratic President Joe Biden’s program for the remaining two years of his first term.
Democrats hoped that the aggressive New York design would counter Republican gains in states like Texas and Florida, where Republican-controlled legislatures approved their partisan maps as part of the once-a-decade redistricting process that follows the U.S. Census.
With 46 states having completed redistricting, Republicans have gained a tiny advantage. Only New Hampshire and Missouri have yet to adopt new districts, and a state judge in Kansas on Monday declared the Republican-backed design to be illegally partisan.
The New York plan, which was adopted by Democratic supermajorities in both houses of the state legislature, would have given Democrats an advantage in 22 of the state’s 26 congressional seats, effectively removing half of the state’s eight Republican lawmakers.
The state Court of Appeals ordered the trial judge who first deemed the map invalid last month to take over the process of designing a new map with the help of a court-appointed special master, in a judgment released on Wednesday.