The state legislative and congressional maps redrawn by Democrats in New York were tossed out Thursday by a judge who declared them unconstitutional and blocked them from being used in the midterm elections.
Acting state Supreme Court Justice Patrick F. McAllister of the Steuben County Supreme Court ruled that “the court finds by clear evidence and beyond a reasonable doubt that the congressional map was unconstitutionally drawn with political bias.”
McAllister ordered that the state legislature redraw its maps by April 11, but ordered that the state cannot delay its primary beyond Aug. 23.
“Although it will be very difficult, this court must require new maps to be drawn,” McAllister wrote. “The current maps are void and unusable.”
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John Faso, a former Republican congressman from New York who helped lead the charge against the map, praised the ruling in a call to reporters, according to CNN.
“New York has an explicit constitutional prohibition on partisan gerrymandering. The Democrats violated that prohibition. They did it knowingly, they did it willingly, they did it joyfully. And the court today struck them down,” Faso said.
“This is a victory for the people of the state, and it’s a victory for competitive and fair elections in New York state.”
“This is one step in the process,” tweeted Mike Murphy, a spokesman for the state Senate Democratic majority. “We always knew this case would be decided by the appellate courts. We are appealing this decision and expect this decision will be stayed as the appeal process proceeds.”
Judges in Ohio and North Carolina have rendered similar judgments against maps drawn by GOP-led state legislatures that favored their own party. In a ruling McAllister referenced, a Maryland judge determined last week that the lines in the state were an “extreme gerrymander” that would have benefited Democrats in at least seven of eight districts.
New York joins Florida, Maryland, Missouri and New Hampshire as one of the five states without enacted congressional maps for the 2022 midterm cycle.