New York Court Of Appeals Orders New Congressional Maps


The New York State Court of Appeals on Dec. 12 ordered the Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) to redraw the congressional maps.
“In 2014, the voters of New York amended our Constitution to provide that legislative districts be drawn by an Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC),” Chief Judge Rowan D. Wilson wrote in the decision summary. “The Constitution demands that process, not districts drawn by courts. Nevertheless, the IRC failed to discharge its constitutional duty. That dereliction is undisputed. The Appellate Division concluded that the IRC can be compelled to reconvene to fulfill that duty; we agree. There is no reason the Constitution should be disregarded.”
The IRC, a bi-partisan, 10-person commission mandated to reflect the diversity of the state, was created in 2014 to provide independence and transparency and to protect minority voting rights and communities of interest.
The IRC was supposed to draw the maps for the 2022 election, but they were unable to reach a consensus, AP News reported. The State Legislature then drew its map, which reportedly favored Democrats, and the Court of Appeals ruled that the state did not follow procedure in creating the maps.
An independent expert drew the maps that, along with strong Republican voter turnout, led to flipping seats in New York City and the suburbs.
Democrats then filed a lawsuit, which went to the Court of Appeals, alleging that the court-drawn map was not supposed to be used for more than one election.
“We are pleased with the Court of Appeals’ decision and look forward to getting back to work with our colleagues as soon as possible to ensure that New York’s voters receive the benefit of the historic redistricting reforms they voted for in 2014,” said Ken Jenkins, chair of the IRC.
Congressman Anthony D’Esposito, whose representation includes a majority of the Town of Hempstead and City of Long Beach, accused “Albany Democrats” of subverting the will of New Yorkers.
“This push to gerrymander fairly drawn congressional lines is just the most recent iteration of the Democrats’ disregard for Long Island voters,” Rep D’Esposito said.


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