To redraw the maps of New York: the primaries are delayed for two months after legal rejection of geographic “abuse” by the Democratic Party

Polling place in Midtown East, NYC.

Photo: Andrés Correa Guatarasma / Courtesy

The highest judicial instance in New York definitively annulled the district lines for representatives to the National Congress and the state Senate drawn up in February with apparent political advantage for the Democratic Party, which would delay the scheduled primary elections until August. originally for June 28.

The ruling stated that it will take “judicial oversight” to ensure that the new maps are ready in time for the next primaries, then reducing the campaign before the mid-term elections on November 8.

The Court of Appeals, which held a final hearing on the matter Tuesday, was discussing “whether Democrats acted with partisan intent in New York while violating procedures established by the amendment that charged an Independent Redistricting Commission to draw the maps.” “, summarized New York Post.

“We answer affirmatively to both questions and therefore we declare the maps of the Congress and the Senate void. As a result, judicial oversight is required to facilitate the expeditious creation of constitutionally compliant maps for use in the 2022 election and to safeguard the constitutionally protected right of New Yorkers to a fair election,” the statement said. head judge Janet DiFiore in a ruling published yesterday afternoon.

Along the same lines, upstate Judge Patrick McAllister had previously rejected the controversial election maps, declared them unconstitutional, and ordered the Democratic-controlled Legislature to urgently redefine them. But his defenders continued to appeal, led by Governor Kathy Hochul and Attorney General Letitia James.

Last week, an appeals court had also ruled that the new district lines drawn by Democrats were illegal, violating the constitutional ban on partisan redistricting in the state.

In February, the state Assembly and Senate approved the new map of 26 constituencies of New York, which could mean for the Democrats to obtain three more congressmen in the next legislative elections in November, to the detriment of the Republicans. Another change brought by the new layout is that NYC will have two new seats in the State Senate in 2023.

Right away fourteen plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against Governor Hochul and Democratic lawmakers, a few hours after they approved in Albany a redesign of the electoral map of New York called to favor the presence of his party in the national Capitol.

The plaintiffs alleged that the new lines approved by the state Assembly were “unconstitutional” because they violated a 2014 state law that establishes the process for redrawing district lines and, moreover, that they were rigged to favor incumbent Democrats.

“Part of the problem is that these maps were nullified…because not following the constitutional process of having bipartisan maps presented by the [comisión independiente de redistribución de distritos]. The second problem was that the map of Congress that was presented was determined to be manipulated” wrote Judge McAllister of the Steuben County Supreme Court in his decision published on March 31. The judge also rejected maps of the state Senate and Assembly in his ruling.

Although Democrats nationally had accused Republicans of suppressing minority voting, they did the same. in New York, where they are overwhelming majority in proportion 7 to 1 in terms of registered voters.

The geopolitical redesign technique is known as “gerrymandering”, a term coined in 1812, when then-Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry drew an electoral district that stretched out like a salamander to secure a seat for his party.

The redistricting of electoral districts is done in the United States every ten years, once the results of the electoral census are released and it only affects those states in which the population has grown or shrunk enough to win or lose representatives in the federal Congress. That is the current case in New York.

At the moment, the state of NY has 27 representatives -19 Democrats and 8 Republicans- in the Capitol, but will lose a seat due to population declinewhich had been falling before the pandemic and has accelerated since then.