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New York’s highest court rejected the state’s new congressional district maps pushed through the legislature by Democrats and suggested upcoming state Senate primary elections will have to be moved back.
The state’s Court of Appeals agreed in a 4-3 ruling with a group of Republican voters who sued, saying that the district boundaries had been unconstitutionally gerrymandered and that the Legislature hadn’t followed proper procedure in passing the maps.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul holds a COVID-19 briefing at the governor’s office in New York in 2021. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images) (Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
The court said it will “likely be necessary” to move the congressional and state Senate primary elections from June to August.
“On these appeals, the primary questions before us are whether this failure to follow the prescribed constitutional procedure warrants invalidation of the legislature’s congressional and state senate maps and whether there is record support for the determination of both courts below that the district lines for congressional races were drawn with an unconstitutional partisan intent,” the ruling stated. “We answer both questions in the affirmative and therefore declare the congressional and senate maps void. As a result, judicial oversight is required to facilitate the expeditious creation of constitutionally conforming maps for use in the 2022 election and to safeguard the constitutionally protected right of New Yorkers to a fair election.”
A voter stands in a booth at a voting station at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) during the mayoral election process in New York on June 12, 2021. ( ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images)
A lower-level court had also ruled earlier this month that the maps were unconstitutional and had given the Legislature an April 30 deadline to come up with new maps or else leave the task to a court-appointed expert.
New York’s Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the redistricting plan which realigned 22 districts into heavily Democratic areas and 4 districts into Republican areas, which could have resulted in up to four GOP seats in Congress being wiped out in November.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks at a news conference in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Tuesday, April 12, 2022. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
The GOP lawsuit against the new district lines cited computer simulations by election analyst Sean Trende, who found the maps were gerrymandered.
“NY’s Court of Appeals just tossed the hyper-partisan, gerrymandered Congressional and State Senate maps for the state,” New York Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin tweeted. “This is excellent news for the people of New York and yet another big time defeat for Kathy Hochul and her Dem allies.”
In a statement to Fox News, New York Republican Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis said the ruling is an example that the judicial system works.
“Today, New York State’s highest court confirmed the decision by two lower courts and the opinion of editorial boards, good government groups, academics and voters across the state,” Malliotakis said. “I am heartened to see that the judicial system worked and that the will of the people is being preserved.”
Hochul’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News.