New York House districts illegally favor Democrats, appeals court rules

New York House districts illegally favor Democrats, appeals court rules

A New York state appeals court on Thursday ruled that the state’s newly submitted congressional map illegally favored Democrats and “was drawn to discourage competition,” saying the state had until the end of the month to draw a new one.

The state appellate court said it factored in testimony from an elections analysis expert, a comparison of the 2012 and 2022 maps and “evidence of the largely one-party process used to enact the 2022 congressional map.”

The court argued that there was virtually no Republican involvement in the new congressional maps, saying Republican input was not included by Democratic leaders in the drafting of the state’s congressional districting map.

“The expert opinion and supporting analysis of Sean P. Trende, met petitioners’ burden of establishing that the 2022 congressional map was drawn to discourage competition and favor Democrats,” reads the 14-page ruling by the five-judge panel.

No Republicans voted in favor of the map in the legislature, either, the appellate court added.

“It’s a victory for our contention that the Legislature violated the [state] Constitution when it drew the lines for Congress,” John Faso, a former Republican congressman who is advising the plaintiffs in the case, said following the ruling Thursday evening by the appellate division of state Supreme Court.

“It’s not just a gerrymander, we’re calling it a Hochulmander,” state Republican Party Chairman Nick Langworthy has said, blaming the politically motivated redrawing on Gov. Kathy Hochul and claiming she wanted to try to preserve the Democrats’ razor-thin majority in the US House of Representatives.

Democrats are planning to challenge the decision to the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals.

“We are pleased the Court upheld the legislature’s process and the right for the legislature to enact these maps,” Mike Murphy, a spokesman for state Senate Democrats said in a statement following the ruling. “The newly-drawn Senate and Assembly maps are now valid. We always knew this case would end at the Court of Appeals and look forward to being heard on our appeal to uphold the Congressional map as well.”

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