New York Assembly Redistricting Challenge
Nichols v. Hochul
Lawsuit filed on behalf of three New York voters challenging the state’s new Assembly map drawn with 2020 census data. The petitioners argue that the state Assembly map violates the New York Constitution because the Legislature bypassed the citizen-led Independent Redistricting Commission’s (IRC) authority to enact the districts in violation of a 2014 amendment. The lawsuit points to the fact that a trial court presiding over a challenge to the state’s new congressional and state Senate maps struck down the Assembly map for this reason, even though the map was reinstated on appeal because it was not initially challenged in the lawsuit. The petitioners ask the state trial court to strike down the Assembly map for violating the New York Constitution, delay the primary elections for Assembly districts so that they are held on the same day as the congressional and state Senate primary elections and reopen the candidate nomination period. The trial court denied the plaintiffs’ requests and subsequently denied their petition.
The petitioners appealed this decision to the appellate court, which agreed that the Assembly map was enacted through an unconstitutional process but it was too late to adopt a new map for the 2022 elections. The appellate court sent the case back to the trial court “for consideration of the proper means for redrawing the state assembly map” for post-2022 elections.
The trial court heard oral argument on Aug. 19. On Sept. 29, a judge ordered the redistricting commission to reconvene and pass a new Assembly map by April 28, 2023. On Jan. 24, a New York appellate court affirmed the trial court’s Sept. 29 decision ordering the redistricting commission to reconvene and pass a new map.
Case Documents (trial court)
Case Documents (Appellate court)