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Tipsheet

Breaking: NY Court Sides With Republicans in Massive Blow to Dems' Gerrymander

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

New York's highest court sided with Republicans on Wednesday in a decision that invalidated Democrats' redistricting map after finding it was gerrymandered in a "partisan" manner to give advantages to Democrat candidates. 

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The new district map was created and passed by the Democrat-controlled state legislature after an independent redistricting commission deadlocked and was unable to reach an agreement on how to draw districts following the 2020 Census. 

After the commission failed to reach an agreement on new congressional lines, "[t]he legislature responded by creating and enacting maps in a nontransparent manner controlled exclusively by the dominant political party," the New York appeals court concluded. 

As the 4-3 ruling that's not subject to appeal by Democrats explains:

...the primary questions before us are whether this failure to follow the prescribed constitutional procedure warrants invalidation of the legislature’s congressional and state senate maps and whether there is record support for the determination of both courts below that the district lines for congressional races were drawn with an unconstitutional partisan intent. We answer both questions in the affirmative and therefore declare the congressional and senate maps void. As a result, judicial oversight is required to facilitate the expeditious creation of constitutionally conforming maps for use in the 2022 election and to safeguard the constitutionally protected right of New Yorkers to a fair election.

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Democrats across the country have been desperately trying to, through redistricting, protect as many of their congressional seats as possible ahead of what are expected to be brutal midterms for President Biden's party. But the New York appeals court's decision — combined with the results of Florida's redistricting process — mean Democrat redistricting gains for the next decade have been essentially wiped out just months before the 2022 election that will determine the balance of power in Congress.

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