Court finalizes new NY congressional, state Senate maps

Court finalizes new NY congressional, state Senate maps

A court-hired mapmaker finalized New York’s congressional and state Senate district maps late Friday, putting them in place for the next decade barring any further lawsuits.

Carnegie Mellon University fellow Jonathan Cervas, who was tasked with redrawing new district lines after a set of Democrat-drawn maps were overturned, released his final maps just after midnight Saturday.

View the maps: See NY’s new congressional districts here.

The court-approved maps were released four days after Cervas’ initial proposal set off a chaotic scramble where congressional candidates and incumbents quickly tried to stake out their turf by declaring which district they would run in – and, in the case of five districts, potentially pitting sitting members against each other. The maps also came after New Yorkers were allowed to provide input on the maps drawn by Cervas.

Cervas, an academic and map-making expert, was appointed by Acting State Supreme Court Justice Patrick McAllister, a Steuben County Republican who heard the initial, Republican-led lawsuit challenging the congressional and state Senate lines drawn in February by the Democrat-dominated state legislature.

McAllister ruled the Democrats unconstitutionally configured the initial congressional lines to their benefit, and that they didn’t follow proper procedure in drawing both the congressional and state Senate districts. The state’s appellate courts agreed, including the Democrat-heavy Court of Appeals, the state’s top court.

View the maps: See NY’s new state Senate districts here.

In his ruling, McAllister also pushed the congressional and Senate primaries back to Aug. 23rd to accommodate. The judge chose Cervas who had previously been a map consultant in Pennsylvania’s redistricting process. Cervas’ maps drew the ire of Democrats, including Brooklyn Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, who claimed Cervas’ original proposal was unconstitutional.

As it stands, primaries for New York’s governor, lieutenant governor and state assembly seats are all scheduled for June 28th, the original date of the primary. Good-government organizations have warned the split primary could lead to low voter turnout, and the League of Women Voters is suing in an attempt to unify the elections.

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