A state appellate court has put a temporary hold on the state’s partisan redistricting map by ruling that the district lines were the result of a highly partisan process.
“Democratic leaders in the legislature drafted the 2022 congressional redistricting map without any Republican input, and the map was adopted by the Legislature without a single Republican vote in favor of it,” the majority decision reached by five judges said.
The 2012 map created 19 Democratic districts and eight Republican seats. The current map will have one less seat due to New York’s loss of population. But this new map would have cost Republicans five seats. Does this mean that in a state with 27 congressional districts only three Republicans will be allowed to serve?
No state is that blue. And the hell of it is, Democrats may yet get away with it.
“We are pleased the Court upheld the legislature’s process and the right for the legislature to enact these maps,” state Senate Democratic spokesperson Mike Murphy said in a statement. “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.”
The decision was less sweeping than one issued by a lower-level court in late March. The Republican state judge in Steuben County there concluded that the Legislature never had the authority to draw the lines because the exact process prescribed by a 2014 constitutional amendment on redistricting was not followed.
In fact, the state Constitution is silent because Democrats ignored the state law they passed to take politics out of the redistricting process with the formation of a bipartisan Independent Redistricting Commission. The Commission failed to send a single submission recommending district lines and eventually gave up.
The Democrats blew up their own process because the Census gave the bad news that Democrats were losing a seat in seven blue states. New York had to come through to blunt the expected gerrymanders by Florida and Texas that would guarantee GOP victory.
So Democrats pretended they never passed the “Bipartisan Redistricting Commission” and went ahead with a blatant political massacre of Republicans.
But the majority of the judges on the appellate panel agreed with Republican arguments that the Congressional lines run afoul of new language in the state constitution that prohibit maps designed to benefit a particular party.
Two of the five judges dissented with that conclusion, saying it was proper to question “the validity of the methodology” Republicans used to argue the lines were gerrymandered.
The case will go to the state’s top court, the Court of Appeals, where every single sitting judge was appointed by Democrats.
The New York Republican Party has been riven by infighting. The party does not hold any statewide offices and the prospects in the near future are not good. What happened with redistricting will be repeated in other venues as long as New York Democrats maintain their one-party monopoly and Republicans ineptly fight among themselves.