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New York Redistricting Plan Tossed on Trash Heap

April 1, 2022 by Dan McCue
New York Redistricting Plan Tossed on Trash Heap
State Capitol, Albany, N.Y. (Photo by Dan McCue)

ALBANY, N.Y. — A state supreme court on Thursday tossed out New York State’s proposed redistricting plan, holding that new districts drafted for state and congressional races were unlawfully partisan in nature.

Justice Patrick McAllister of New York’s Steuben County Supreme Court gave the Democratic-led legislature until April 11 to come up with a new set of “bipartisanly supported maps” for both Congress and the state’s Senate and Assembly districts.

And if the legislature fails to do so by the deadline, McAllister, a Republican, said he is prepared to appoint an independent special master to draw the map, a move that could force the delay of the state’s June 28 primaries.

In a joint email sent to The Well News Thursday night, New York Attorney General Letitia James and Gov. Kathy Hochul said they plan to appeal the decision.

Democrats have the option of challenging the ruling in either the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court or the State Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court. 

Both venues are expected to be more favorable to Democrats than Steuben County, which is located in rural Western New York on its border with Pennsylvania.

The plaintiffs in the case were voters across the state who sued, with the help of Republicans in- and outside the state, shortly after Hochul signed the new maps into law in February.

Former Rep. John J. Faso, who lost his seat to Democrat Antonio Delgado in 2018 and who has been serving as a spokesman for the plaintiffs, described the ruling as a “complete victory” for those who objected to the map.

“The people won, and the politicians lost,” Faso said.

Dan can be reached at dan@thewellnews.com and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

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