WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Tuesday, July 25, Republican intervenors in a lawsuit challenging New York’s congressional map appealed a decision that requires the New York Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) to reconvene and submit a new congressional map to the Legislature.
This appeal is the latest action in a lawsuit filed on behalf of voters arguing that the IRC failed to complete its mandatory redistricting duties when the commission deadlocked in January 2022, leading the Legislature, and not the IRC, to draw a second set of maps. Earlier this month, on July 13, an appellate state court ordered the IRC to redraw the state’s congressional map. The order states that “[t]he IRC had an indisputable duty under the NY Constitution to submit a second set of maps upon the rejection of its first set…The language of NY Constitution…makes clear that this duty is mandatory, not discretionary” and directs the IRC to “commence its duties forthwith.”
After the IRC was ordered to reconvene, the petitioners submitted a letter to the IRC demanding that it show that it is taking the necessary steps to comply with the court order. The July 24 letter reads: “Over a week has passed since the Appellate Division’s Opinion and Order was entered… Yet, the IRC has not made the public aware of any steps it has taken in that time to ‘commence its duties,’ despite the Appellate Division’s instruction that it do so ‘forthwith.”’
Just one day after the petitioners sent this letter, Republican intervenors filed their notice of appeal. Now, New York’s highest court will have the final say over the Empire State’s congressional map.