ALBANY, NY (AP) — A New York appeals judge is set to hear arguments on Thursday whether to continue to block a lower court ruling that declared New York’s map of the new congressional and legislative district unconstitutional.
New York’s electoral landscape came into question last week when a Republican trial court judge ordered the state’s Democrat-controlled legislature to redraw the district’s boundaries.
State Judge Patrick McAllister asked state officials to submit the new maps only by April 11, saying the districts he had drawn were illegally cornered in favor of Democrats.
The ruling came even as candidates began campaigning in the disputed districts ahead of a June 1 party primary.
State Appellate Division Justice Stephen K. Lindley has already put a temporary stay on that decision. He has said he will decide after Thursday’s hearing whether to leave the adjournment for now, pending further legal action in the coming weeks.
He could also remove migration, which would put state lawmakers on an incredibly tight deadline to come up with a new map. Judge McAllister has said that if lawmakers do not meet his deadline, he will appoint his own expert to draw up new maps.
Thursday’s hearing likely won’t have the final word on the main issue: whether the new maps are so politically biased toward Democrats that they violate the state’s constitution.
According to former US Representative John Faso, a Republican who is helping garner support for a lawsuit challenging the legitimacy of the map, the arguments are “just a skirmish on the way”.
The hearing has already been scheduled for April 20 for more arguments.
Meanwhile, candidates faced a Thursday deadline to submit signatures on the petition had to appear on the ballot for the first time.
Sen. Mike Gianaris, a Queens Democrat, said this week that he and the New York Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Report are not working on the new maps.
“We are confident that we have produced maps that will stand up to scrutiny,” Giannaris told the news program ‘Capital Tonight’ on Tuesday.
Legislative and congressional boundaries are being redrawn as part of a per-decade redistribution process initiated by the 2020 Census.
Congressional limits passed by the Legislature could expand Democrats’ power: Democrats will form a strong majority of registered voters in 22 of the state’s 26 congressional districts in 2023.
Republicans, who now hold eight of New York’s 27 seats in Congress, would have an advantage in only four districts.
Democrats have argued that the new maps undo the decades-long run by Senate Republicans, and that all maps show years of population loss in upstate communities once considered Republican strongholds.
Republicans, and some nonpartisan voter rights groups, argue that Democrats went too far to create congressional districts, which violates the 2014 state constitutional amendment, which bans drawing maps “maps or other specialties.” for the purpose of making candidates in favor or against political parties.”
So far in this cycle, the courts have also intervened to block maps that they received such as GOP gerrymanders in North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania, and a Democratic gerrymander in Maryland.
North Carolina’s supreme court pushed back the March election primaries until May to provide time for state courts to review lawsuits that claimed the Republican-controlled legislature illegally cornered some districts. Had taken.
In Ohio, the state legislative race is delayed amid a legal battle over gerrymandering.
The state hasn’t settled on district boundaries long enough to be used to make ballots: The Republican-led legislature has repeatedly approved maps that the Ohio Supreme Court unconstitutionally voted to favor Republicans. has prepared.
And in Maryland, the Court of Appeals delayed the state primary for all elections from June 28 to July 19.