WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, Feb. 3, a group of Republican voters sued over New York’s congressional map enacted hours earlier. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) signed the map into law Thursday night after the Legislature approved a new map. The Legislature took over redistricting after the state’s bipartisan citizen-led redistricting commission was unable to agree on and pass any map proposals. The new map, which has one less district following the 2020 census, is predicted to contain 20 Democratic seats, four Republican seats and two highly competitive seats.
The lawsuit, filed in the New York Supreme Court, Steuben County, argues that the new congressional map is invalid for two main reasons and should be blocked by the court. 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.” In support of this argument, the plaintiffs suggest that the commission failed to propose adequate map proposals, and the Democratic-controlled Legislature refused to consider the commission’s first set of map proposals. 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. The lawsuit alleges that the map treats the Republican plaintiffs “unequally and dilutes their voting power based on their political beliefs” and asks the court to order the Legislature to draw a new map if it finds that the map violates state law.