State of New York

New York Congressional Redistricting Challenge

Harkenrider v. Hochul

Lawsuit filed on behalf of a group of Republican voters against New York’s new congressional map drawn with 2020 census data. The lawsuit argues that the new congressional map is invalid for two reasons: First, the plaintiffs allege that the commission and Legislature did not follow the state constitution’s process outlining redistricting requirements and therefore “the congressional map is entirely void.”  Second, the plaintiffs argue that, if the court disagrees with the plaintiffs’ first claim and finds that the new map is acceptable on procedural grounds, the court should “reject it as a matter of substance, as the map is an obviously unconstitutional partisan and incumbent-protection gerrymander” that favors Democrats in violation of the New York Constitution.

After a trial was held, the trial court blocked the congressional and state Senate maps and ordered the creation of new maps. The decision was immediately appealed and the lower court’s decision was paused until an oral argument was held. The appellate court then issued an order agreeing that the congressional map was a partisan gerrymander that favors Democrats, but disagreeing with the trial court that the map-drawing process was not properly followed. This decision was appealed to the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court. After an oral argument was held on April 26, the court struck down both the congressional and state Senate maps, sending the case back to the trial court so that the trial court judge can adopt constitutional maps. On May 21, the trial court adopted new congressional and state Senate districts drawn by the special master. On Aug. 4, the trial court ordered that any change in party registration on or after Aug. 12 will take effect on Aug. 30 following the Aug. 23 congressional and state Senate primaries.

Case Documents (Trial court)

Case Documents (appellate court)

Case Documents (highest court)

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