Judge Janet DiFiore, chief judge of the Court of Appeals of New York, came down hard on the pro-Democrat gerrymandered redistricting map. She wrote that based on the fact that the legislature's enactment of the map of the senate and congressional districts during the legislative session was procedurally unlawful, it was fundamentally unconstitutional because it was drawn with improper partisan intent and left the state without legal district lines to use for the 2022 primary and general elections.
This year's redistricting was the first time it has been done since New York voters amended the state’s constitution in 2014, incorporating the creation of a bipartisan redistricting commission, which is composed of equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans. The commission was unable to reach a consensus on the new congressional map.
The result was that Governor Kathy Hochul (D) endorsed the maps made by the state's Democratic-controlled legislature. In a statement, the New York Republican Party Chair Nick Langworthy applauded the New York Court of Appeals for its decision to defeat “Hochulmander.” “The Hochulmander has officially been defeated… even the partisan-appointed Democrat judges couldn't swallow how filthy this gerrymander was,” Langworthy declared.
Even Democrat politicians have criticized Hochul for her decision to approve the unconstitutional redistricting map. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY), who is running to challenge Hochul in New York's Democratic gubernatorial primary, has criticized Hochul's “dysfunctional government.” Suozzi tweeted: “Another failure for New York's dysfunctional government and Kathy Hochul. She's not the leader that New Yorkers need or deserve.”
On the other hand, certain New York Democrats downplayed the court's decision. New York Democrat Party Chair Jay Jacobs remains “confident in Democratic victories up and down the ballot this November.” Jacobs declared, “While certain district lines may change, what does not change is our Party's record of results which contrasts clearly with the Republican Party's radical agenda to drag this state backward.”
In a 4-3 ruling, the highest court in New York declared that it would “likely be necessary” for the state's primary on June 28 to be moved up to August, thereby reducing the time that candidates can compete in the general election.
The court ruled: “We believe that in conjunction with the Board of Elections, [the] Supreme Court can quickly come up with plans to allow for the August primary election, permitting the adoption of new maps for constitutional amendments and the distribution of accurate data to citizens, the conclusion of the petitioning process and the compliance with federal voting laws, such as… the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (see 52 USC § 20302).”
With House Republicans just five seats away from winning more majority seats, Democrats are desperately trying to use gerrymandering to benefit themselves. At present, Republicans control 8 out of the 27 districts in New York's congressional district. But New York lost one congressional seat after the 2020 Census because of the massive migration from the Democratic-controlled state. The Democrats’ plan to map the state would give them control over 22 seats of the state's 26 seats.
A New York University law expert on redistricting, Michael Li, called the Democrats’ map a “masterclass in gerrymandering.”