Judge throws out Democrat-drawn redistricting maps, appeal to follow

A state Supreme Court justice in Steuben County threw out the district maps drawn by the Democrats on Thursday, claiming political bias and gerrymandered district boundaries.

Acting state Supreme Court Justice Patrick F. McAllister ruled the state Legislature must redraw maps by April 11, according to Albany Times-Union. The ruling is anticipated to be appealed to the Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court, for a final ruling.

In his ruling, McAllister called the current maps “void” and “unusable,” citing a recent decision out of Maryland where a judge threw out Democrat-drawn political maps.

He also said the state must hold its primary no later than August 23, 2022. The current maps will remain in effect while McAllister’s ruling is appealed.

As for their part, Governor Kathy Hochul and Attorney General Letitia James released this brief statement: “We intend to appeal this decision.”

Eric Hecker, attorney for NYS Senate Democrats, said this ruling will “sow massive confusion,” noting Republicans filed their case in Steuben County likely because they believed the court would support their argument against the new maps.

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