A New York State Supreme Court Judge rejected redistricted maps previously passed by the state Legislature on Thursday, ruling that they favored Democratic candidates.
The 18-page ruling handed down by Judge Patrick McAllister, a Republican, said the congressional maps, which passed through the Democratic-controlled state Legislature earlier this year were “unconstitutionally drawn with political bias.”
McAllister also rejected the previously-approved Senate and Assembly maps, ordering new maps with bipartisan support to be resubmitted by April 11.
Gov. Kathy Hochul and Attorney General Letitia James, both Democrats, issued a brief statement following McAllister’s ruling saying they intend to appeal the decision.
Some of the changes in the previously-approved Congressional maps included the state’s 3rd District stretching into parts of the Bronx and Westchester counties.
Currently, the district, held by U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), a gubernatorial candidate, includes Manhasset, Roslyn, Port Washington, Great Neck and Floral Park, among other areas, and stretches from Whitestone, Queens, to Kings Park in Suffolk County. The proposed redistricting would add several areas in Westchester County and the Bronx.
Melanie D’Arrigo, a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the district, previously criticized the layout of the new district in a statement and claimed the proposed lines are an example of “extreme” gerrymandering.
“There is no discernible reason to draw a district that leapfrogs the Long Island Sound in an attempt to loosely tie together Long Island, Queens, The Bronx, and Westchester,” D’Arrigo said. “Constituent services will be more difficult, more expensive and less efficient: the needs of someone living on the border of Connecticut being wildly different from someone in Huntington.”
D’Arrigo, a Port Washington resident, ran against Suozzi in 2020, ultimately losing to the congressman. D’Arrigo said voters should not be used as “political pawns,” advocating for “real representation” in each district throughout the state.
The 4th Congressional District, currently represented by U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City), would add the villages of East Williston, Williston Park, Lake Success and Mineola and unincorporated parts of the Town of North Hempstead.
Nick Langworthy, chairman of the state’s Republican Party, criticized the Democratic officials who presented the proposed redistricting for “circumventing the will of the people” in a previous statement and echoed his displeasure with the maps and Hochul during a press conference Friday.
“Kathy Hochul is directly responsible for the outcome of these maps,” Langworthy said. “She said it herself, she admitted it in her very first interview after being sworn in for governor. That she was going to use her power to gerrymander districts to ensure that Joe Biden has the votes for his disastrous agenda.”
Republican U.S. Rep. and gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), also criticized Democratic officials who approved the maps, describing the proposed redistricting as “blatant partisanship.”
“Instead of hijacking the redistricting process for political gain, overriding the will of New York voters, Albany must redraw the maps in good faith and put New Yorkers, not their partisan games, first,” Zeldin continued.