April 22, 2022 10:50am
New York Republicans are praising a mid-level appellate court ruling that concluded Democrats engaged in gerrymandering when drawing the state’s new congressional district boundaries.
“The decision rendered by the Appellate Court is a win for all New Yorkers and confirms what we have been saying all along: New York Democrats illegally drew unconstitutional gerrymandered congressional lines to protect themselves and hurt all New Yorkers, specifically the North Country,” Rep. Elise Stefanik, who represents New York’s 21st congressional district, told Fox News in a statement. “Albany Democrats violated the New York State Constitution and drew egregious, unfair, and unconstitutional lines to benefit Democrat elected officials.”
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, who represents New York’s 11th congressional district, also told Fox News that the court made the right decision by thwarting what she says is an effort by Democrats to “tilt the scale” in the November midterms.
“Two different courts have now said Governor Hochul and the Democrat-controlled legislature broke the law and drew an unconstitutional Congressional map in a blatant attempt to tilt the scale in the upcoming elections, end NYC’s bi-partisan representation in Congress and silence the voices of conservative New Yorkers such as those residing in Staten Island and Southern Brooklyn,” Malliotakis said. “We are encouraged by the action of both courts and we await the new district maps.”
In a divided 3-2 ruling, the majority of the five member appellate panel found the new congressional map was unconstitutional — a decision that, if upheld, would block the use of those district lines for the upcoming midterm elections in November.
The court found Democratic lawmakers acted within their power to approve the maps after a bipartisan redistricting commission failed to do so earlier this year. But the judges ruled the 2022 congressional map itself “was drawn to discourage competition and favor Democrats.”
Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin, who represents New York’s 1st congressional district and is currently running for governor of the state also touted the court’s decision on Twitter.
“Kathy Hochul & her fellow Dems controlling Albany ignored the law & the will of the people when they created the most hyper-partisan gerrymander imaginable,” Zeldin tweeted. “That’s unconstitutional in New York and today an appeals court agreed that the Congressional map needs to be redrawn.”
Hochul signed the redistricting plan which realigned 22 districts into heavily Democratic areas and 4 districts into Republican areas, which could result in up to four GOP seats in Congress being wiped out in November.
The GOP lawsuit against the new district lines cited computer simulations by election analyst Sean Trende, who found the maps were gerrymandered.
The court relied on that analysis in its ruling.
“Trende was accepted by the parties as an expert in elections analysis with particular knowledge of redistricting. His direct testimony and his expert reports also were received in evidence without objection,” the judges wrote.
Democratic legislative leaders indicated they would appeal the decision to the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court.
The Court of Appeals is expected to hear the case soon, potentially by next week.
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