Democrats have been dealt a blow in the Empire State as the state’s highest court – the New York Court of Appeals – concluded that the Democrats had unconstitutionally gerrymandered their latest proposed congressional map, which was signed by Democrat Governor Kathy Hochul.
Chief Judge Janet DiFiore wrote:
Based on the foregoing, the enactment of the congressional and senate maps by the legislature was procedurally unconstitutional, and the congressional map is also substantively unconstitutional as drawn with impermissible partisan purpose, leaving the state without constitutional district lines for use in the 2022 primary and general elections.
New York’s redistricting commission, which has an equal number of Republicans and Democrats, were unable to agree on a new congressional map. This is the first redistricting that has happened since 2014, when New York voters amended the state constitution to include a bipartisan redistricting commission.
Gov. Hochul approved maps that were proposed by the Democrat-controlled legislature and even some on her own side, have called her out for approving an unconstitutional redistricting map.
New York Republican Party chair praised the move by the New York Court of Appeals and took to Twitter to celebrate what he called the defeat of the “Hochulmander.”
“The Hochulmander has officially been defeated … even the partisan-appointed Democrat judges couldn’t swallow how filthy this gerrymander was,” Langworthy said.
A Democrat, hoping to replace Hochul for Governor, Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY), called Hochul’s leadership a “dysfunctional government.”
“Another failure for New York’s dysfunctional government and Kathy Hochul. She’s not the leader that New Yorkers need or deserve,” Suozzi tweeted.
New York Democrat Party chair Jay Jacobs, downplayed the court ruling, however, and said he remains “confident in Democratic victories up and down the ballot this November.”
“While certain district lines may change, what does not change is our Party’s record of results which contrasts clearly with the Republican Party’s radical agenda to drag this state backward,” Jacobs said.
New York’s highest court said it would “likely be necessary” for the state primaries to be moved to a later date, which was originally scheduled for June 28 and will likely be held in August as candidates did not have enough time to prepare their campaigns, ahead of the general elections in November.
The court said:
We are confident that, in consultation with the Board of Elections, Supreme Court can swiftly develop a schedule to facilitate an August primary election, allowing time for the adoption of new constitutional maps, the dissemination of correct information to voters, the completion of the petitioning process, and compliance with federal voting laws, including the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (see 52 USC § 20302).
Currently, Republicans are only five seats away from regaining a majority, which is why the Democrats are trying to gerrymander their way into the advantage.