New York’s high court orders redistricting of congressional districts

Hans Pennink/AP/File

New York state legislators debate legislative bills at the State Capitol in Albany in June.


New York’s Supreme Court ordered the state on Tuesday Redraw its congressional mapGiving Democrats a big win in the fight for control of the US House of Representatives in the upcoming 2024 elections.

By a 4-3 vote, the New York State Court of Appeals ordered the state to restart the mapping process. New York’s bipartisan Independence Redistricting Commission will be tasked with creating the new map. The Democratic-controlled state legislature will make the final decision on new taxes for New York’s 26 congressional districts.

The long-awaited result could help Democrats flip a key number of House seats from Republicans next year. The GOP currently has the slimmest majority in the chamber — and it just grew smaller A recent discharge New York Republican George Santos.

Tuesday result is rising A map drawn by the court last yearThat led to New York Republicans flipping four seats, victories that could help secure a majority in the House in 2022.

New York Republicans, who immediately denounced the ruling, are likely to challenge any new map they see as gerrymandered by state Democrats.

“Today’s decision opens the door for Democrats to disrupt our congressional district lines so that elections are decided not by voters, but by politicians in a backroom,” New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, chairman of the House GOP Conference, and New York GOP Chairman Ed Cox said in a joint statement.

Empire State Democrats welcomed the ruling.

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“Today’s redistricting decision will ensure that all New Yorkers are fairly and equally represented by elected officials,” New York Governor Kathy Hochul and state Attorney General Letitia James said in a joint statement.

The fight over New York’s congressional map stretches back to a voter-approved constitutional amendment that established an independent redistricting commission to prevent partisan gerrymandering.

But a bipartisan commission could not agree on a map to use in the 2022 election following the 2020 census. Then the state legislature stepped in and drew its own map that heavily favored Democrats — but this map Then blocked By the Court of Appeal. A court-appointed special master then drew the map used during the 2022 election.

Democrats went back to court to ask the independent redistricting commission to try again, arguing that the court-drawn map should not be used for more than one election.

The Court of Appeals, now heavily liberal in control, agreed.

“In 2014, the voters of New York amended our Constitution to require that legislative districts be drawn by an independent redistricting commission,” said Chief Justice Rowan D. Wilson wrote for the majority. “The Constitution demands that process, not districts drawn by the courts.”

The court ordered the commission to produce a map by February 28. Under state law, the Legislature has the authority to weigh in on the commission’s map.

The two political parties have been fighting hard over redistricting this year, often for one or two seats. Republicans won big in North Carolina earlier this year in the GOP-controlled Legislature He drew new lines It will help the party pick up at least three seats now held by Democrats. Tar Heel state gains could face potential Democratic pickups in New York if they face a court challenge.

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This story has been updated with additional reporting.

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