New York Appeals Court Orders District Map Redraw

New York Appeals Court Orders District Map Redraw
Image copyright: Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Just Majority/Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images (Apr. 30, 2023)

The Facts

  • By a vote of 4-3, the New York Court of Appeals has ordered the state's Independent Redistricting Commission to throw out its current congressional district map and restart the map-drawing process. The Democratic Party-controlled legislature will now be free to accept or reject any newly drawn map for the state's 26 House districts.

  • The Commission failed to agree on a map during the 2022 election cycle, prompting a court-appointed independent special master to draw one up. Its composition led to former Democratic Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney and Mondaire Jones ultimately losing to Republicans Mike Lawler and Dan Goldman, respectively, during the last midterms.


The Spin

Democratic narrative

New York law clearly states that if a congressional map is ruled invalid by the court, the legislature has the ability to redraw it in a fair and equitable manner. Thankfully, the high court did find flaws in the previous map, and New Yorkers' representatives will now be able to, hopefully with finality, take action and ensure their constituents are protected in the coming election and the years that follow.

Republican narrative

New York state politics are corrupt, and this decision exemplifies that unfortunate reality. Gov. Kathy Hochul and her party not only stacked the court with judges they knew would always side with them, but they then used their friends in the judiciary to strike down an already-approved map ahead of the upcoming election. There is no democracy when the Democratic governor acts as judge and jury.

Cynical narrative

Both Democrats and Republicans gerrymander massively, making American democracy far from fair. Election laws should change.


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