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New York court orders redrawing of congressional district maps

The commission has until February to come up with a new proposal, which the Democrat-controlled legislature must then approve.

Published: December 12, 2023 3:25pm

Updated: December 12, 2023 3:52pm

The New York Court of Appeals on Tuesday ordered a bipartisan commission to draft new congressional maps for the Empire State.

In 2022, the state's Independent Redistricting Committee submitted dueling pairs of congressional district maps to the legislature, which state Democrats rejected before going on to draw their own.

That map was then struck down by Steuben County State Supreme Court Judge Patrick McAllister, who found it "was unconstitutionally drawn with political bias." He then directed a special master to draw new maps, which featured in the 2022 midterms that saw Republicans pick up several House seats.

A lower court in July of this year determined that the IRC should have been permitted to submit an additional proposal to the legislature after it rejected its first pair of maps. The Tuesday ruling saw the Appeals court rule 4-3 in favor of ordering the IRC to reconvene, Politico reported.

The commission has until February to come up with a new proposal, which the Democrat-controlled legislature must then approve.

Former New York GOP Rep. Joe Sempolinski told Just the News after the decision that it would have major implications for control of the House in 2024 and that the legal effort was merely a move by Democrats to tip the scales in their favor.

"This can have major implications, not only in New York... but the implications for who's controlling the House of Representatives are serious," he said. "This is gamesmanship by the Democratic Party. They're embarrassed that they lost fair districts last time... it's a loss for fairness at the court."

He went on to assert that a similar process to what played out in 2022 would occur in the aftermath, saying "the IRC is gonna submit a map. The state legislature will reject that map and then draw the map they've probably been sitting on."

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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