Top New York Court Orders New House Map In Blow To Republicans

The top court in New York ordered on Tuesday the creation of a new congressional map, a move that bodes ill for Republicans who made gains in the blue state after the last redistricting cycle.

By a 4-3 vote, the New York Court of Appeals ruled the Independent Redistricting Commission is allowed to redraw the lines ahead of the 2024 election. Whatever map comes out of the process, which has a deadline at the end of February, it will then need to be approved by the state legislature that is controlled by Democrats.

“In 2014, the voters of New York amended our Constitution to provide that legislative districts be drawn by an Independent Redistricting Commission,” Chief Judge Rowan Wilson wrote in an opinion. “The Constitution demands that process, not districts drawn by courts.”

The ruling stems from a legal challenge backed by Democrats and opposed by Republicans that followed a dramatic series of events over redistricting in 2022. After the commission failed to reach a consensus on a map, state Democrats drew their own boundaries that the high court then rejected as too partisan and tasked a special master to come up with a fix.

“Today’s decision is a win for democracy and particularly the people of New York. We are eager for the Independent Redistricting Commission to get back to work to create a new, fair congressional map — through the process New York voters intended,” Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA), chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said in a statement on Tuesday.

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and New York GOP Chairman Ed Cox released a joint statement declaring, “New York Republicans will not give up the fight against gerrymandering and for free and fair elections. The people of New York deserve better than this.”

Republicans won control of the House in the 2022 election cycle as they picked up a few seats in New York on the special master’s map. But their fortunes could be reversed in 2024 with the Empire State as a deciding factor.

“Huge deal for House control,” said Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman in a series of posts to X in response to the high court ruling on Tuesday.

“This was a 4-3 decision made possible by a leftward personnel shift on the NY court since ’22, much as the GOP’s takeover of the [North Carolina] Supreme Court in ’22 paved the way for Republicans to brutalize Dems w/ a new gerrymander this year in NC,” he added. “Right now, Dems have a meager 15D-11R majority in NY’s House seats. This ruling could put up to six GOP seats in deeper danger.”

Wasserman said the six GOP House members from New York who stand to be most negatively affected included Nick Lakota, Anthony D’Esposito, Mike Lawler, Marc Molinaro, and Brandon Williams. He also listed New York’s 3rd Congressional District, which had been represented by Rep. George Santos (R-NY) until he was expelled. Santos will be replaced by the winner of a special election set for early next year.

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