Political Earthquake: NY Democrats Seize Power in House After Court Ruling

0
588

The New York Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state, ruled that the bipartisan Independent Redistricting Commission should be given a second chance. They could not come to an agreement on the district boundaries for 2020. The state legislature was given the task, which is dominated by Democrats.

By giving the Democrats 22 of the 26 districts within the State, the Democrats would have effectively destroyed the Republican Party.

The map was redrawn by a special master after a state judge ruled that it was grossly gerrymandered. It resulted in three Republican seats being won in the state and a 15-11 split of votes in favor of Democrats.

The Court of Appeals has ruled that a new map drawing round must be conducted by the bipartisan Independent Redistricting Commission, as the map for 2022 had been imposed based on procedural issues.

“We’ll hold the IRC, and the legislature, accountable to the Constitution as many times as it takes to ensure compliance,” wrote Chief Judge Rowan Wilson. She pointed out that the commissioners had failed to fix a date for the final meeting of 2022.

“That said, we’re confident that IRC members will behave in accordance to the Constitution without further judicial intervention. The IRC is not exempt from the same constitutional obligations that we are.

“New York Republicans will not give up the fight against gerrymandering and for fair and independent elections. “In a press release issued jointly by Elise Stefanik, a GOP representative from New York State, she said that New Yorkers deserved more.

A 2014 constitutional amendment laid down the requirements for a nonpartisan map of district boundaries.

Politico:

The districts should be “as compact and as small as possible”. They cannot be drawn to “discourage competition, or to favor incumbents or other candidates or parties or discourage the opposition of political parties or candidates.”

The language encourages “communities” of people to unite.

Mapmakers who are creative can justify any odd-looking line by using vague criteria. Last summer, Democrats created a map that linked the Bronx with Westchester County and some parts of Long Island to claim they all lived near Long Island Sound.

The House of Representatives’ control is at stake. It would be very difficult for Republicans to maintain control of the House if any map gave New York Democrats three or four extra seats.

Democrats may draw lines to exclude some Republican candidates this time to ensure some pickups. The all-GOP delegation on Long Island and Staten Island’s Nicole Malliotakis as well as Hudson Valley’s Mike Lawler, Marc Molinaro, and central New York’s Brandon Williams will probably be sleeping less soundly tonight.

A few victories that are certain to follow could help Democrats overcome their national deficit after Republicans created an effective gerrymandering, which almost guarantees the GOP three or more additional seats in North Carolina.

Republicans could gain up to three seats in North Carolina if they win the legal battle. In Georgia, Louisiana, and other states there are still challenges that Democrats could face.

New York is the Democrats’ last chance to flip both chambers in one go. Given the stakes, they are unlikely to fail.