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New York Republicans are praising a mid-level appeals court ruling that found Democrats engaged in gerrymandering when drawing new boundaries for the state’s congressional districts.
“The Court of Appeals’ ruling is a victory for all New Yorkers and confirms what we’ve been saying all along: New York Democrats have illegally drawn unconstitutional congressional lines to protect themselves and hurt all. New Yorkers, especially upstate New Yorkers,” the rep said. Elise Stefanik, who represents New York’s 21st congressional district, told Fox News in a statement. “Albany Democrats have violated the New York State Constitution and drawn blatant, unjust, and unconstitutional lines for the benefit of elected Democrats.”
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Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, who represents New York’s 11th congressional district, also told Fox News the court made the right decision in thwarting what she says was an effort by Democrats to “tip the scales” at halfway through November.
“Two different courts have now declared that Governor Hochul and the Democratic-controlled legislature broke the law and drew an unconstitutional map of Congress in a blatant attempt to tip the scales in the upcoming election, end bipartisan representation of NYC in Congress and to silence the voices of conservative New Yorkers like those residing in Staten Island and South Brooklyn,” Malliotakis said. “We are encouraged by the action of both courts and look forward to the new district maps.”
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In a 3-2 split decision, a majority of the five-member appeals committee found the new Congressional map to be unconstitutional — a decision that, if upheld, would block the use of those district lines for future midterm elections in November.
The court found that Democratic lawmakers acted within their power to approve the maps after a bipartisan redistricting commission failed to do so earlier this year. But the judges ruled that the 2022 Congressional map itself “was drawn to discourage competition and favor the Democrats.”
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Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin, who represents New York’s 1st Congressional District and is currently running for state governor, also touted the court’s decision on Twitter.
“Kathy Hochul and her fellow Democrats controlling Albany ignored the law and the will of the people when they created the most hyper-partisan gerrymander imaginable,” Zeldin tweeted. “It’s unconstitutional in New York and today an appeals court agreed that the map of Congress should be redrawn.”
Hochul sign the redistricting plan that realigned 22 districts into heavily Democratic areas and 4 districts into Republican areas, which could result in up to four GOP seats in Congress wiped out in November.
The GOP lawsuit against new district lines cited computer simulations by election analyst Sean Trende, who found the maps were gerrymandered.
The tribunal relied on this analysis in its decision.
“Trende was accepted by the parties as an expert in election analysis with particular knowledge of redistricting. His direct testimony and expert reports were also received into evidence without objection,” the judges wrote.
Democratic legislative leaders said they would appeal the ruling to the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court.
The Court of Appeal is expected to hear the case soon, potentially by next week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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