AP Photo/Susan Walsh
The headline of this article isn’t clickbait. I’m legitimately shocked right now at what has just transpired in New York regarding its redistricting process, and I think you will be too.
Per a mid-afternoon announcement on Thursday, New York Supreme Court Justice Patrick McAllister has shot down all three of the Democrat gerrymanders in the Empire State, including the congressional map that had Democrats with a 22-4 advantage in a state that they only garnered 60% of the vote in during the last election.
The decision appears to be based on the fact that the legislature completely ignored the 2014-passed state constitutional amendment that outlawed partisan gerrymandering.
Republicans have won the New York redistricting lawsuit (appeal pending). All three of the legislature’s maps have been struck down as illegal Democratic gerrymanders, and they have 12 days to redraw. A stunner, as the judge initially said it was too late to order a ‘22 redraw. https://t.co/BiZWvBpRpX— RRH Elections (@RRHElections) March 31, 2022
This came out of nowhere because everyone just assumed that the largely Democrat-controlled New York court system would rubber-stamp whatever Democrats put out and because the timeline was so tight (previous indications were it was too late to order new maps). That didn’t happen, and now the legislature has just 12 days to redraw maps and submit them to the court.
Why is this so massive? Because it’s going to end up in a difference of two to three congressional seats going to the GOP in November which completely wipes out all the gerrymandering gains Democrats thought they had garnered. You are probably looking at a 19-7 map now after the courts enforce the fair district provision. Two weeks ago, Democrats thought they had run the table. Now, after this decision and recent ones in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Alabama, things have completely turned around.
No doubt an appeal is coming, but the make-up of the appeals court is not necessarily favorable to the Democrats on this issue, and if the gerrymandered maps are ultimately upheld, it would require a complete ignoring of the plain language of the law. Sure, courts can be partisan, but that’s likely a bridge too far for all but the most extremely leftwing of judges, and the appeals court includes more middle-of-the-road liberals.
Even still, the wins Republicans have racked up in the last several weeks are going to pay dividends. Far short of the 5-6 seat gain via gerrymandering Democrats thought they had, they will end up at or near even at best now. The GOP is already heavily favored in November’s mid-terms to retake the House of Representatives. This just adds to the pain and suffering of Nancy Pelosi and her cohorts. You absolutely love to see it.