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New York’s Congressional maps may get redrawn: What would that mean for next year’s elections?

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  • Staff Report 

The New York state Court of Appeals, comprised of a seven-judge panel, heard arguments on Wednesday concerning the potential redrawing of the state’s congressional map.

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This follows the intervention of an independent special master who previously drew the lines under judicial oversight for the 2022 elections. The court’s involvement came after determining that the Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) failed to fulfill its constitutional obligations and that the map drawn by the state Legislature showed signs of gerrymandering.

Attorneys representing various state entities and petitioners argued that the map drawn during the urgency of the last elections should be viewed as temporary. They urged the court to allow the IRC to reconvene and create new maps, in line with a 2014 constitutional amendment approved by voters.

This amendment was intended to ensure a fair redistricting process.

On the other side, attorneys representing the original Republican-led intervenors insisted that new maps should not be considered until after the 2030 federal Census. They argued that the current court-drawn maps were an appropriate remedy and that the Constitution does not permit mid-decade revisions unless the existing lines are proven defective.

Furthermore, they claimed that the petitioners had missed deadlines to initiate this action.

The court’s decision is particularly significant given the Republicans’ gain of four seats in the 2022 House of Representatives elections, with the party holding a narrow margin of power nationally. One judge noted that any new lines drawn by the IRC would need to be substantially different from the state Legislature’s map, which had evidence of gerrymandering.

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