First Draft of NY's Newly Drawn Congressional Maps to be Released Today
By Yehudit Garmaise
Jonathan Cervas, a neutral redistricting expert, posted his first draft of the new US congressional maps after NY Democrats were accused of manipulating districts’ borders so as to help more Democrats get elected through a dishonest and manipulative practice called, “gerrymandering.”
Congressional districts are supposed to represent particular geographical areas and the interests of their constituents, however, after ruling that the maps violated New York’s constitution, State Supreme Court Justice Patrick McCallister threw out the maps and chose Cervas to re-draw them.
Judge McCallister’s decision, which applied to the races for the US House of Representatives and the NY State Senate, did not extend to state Assembly districts, which were excluded from the lawsuit on a technicality.
In Cervas’s congressional map, Rockland and Putman Counties, central northern Westchester, and the southeastern corner of Dutchess County will comprise District 17, which is now represented by US Rep. Mondaire Jones (D), who lives in Rockland.
In a move thought to favor Democrats, New York is losing one congressional district: going from 27 to 26.
Amid the redistricting litigation, the state, which needed more time to redraw the controversial maps, pushed back congressional and state Senate primaries by two months to provide more time for the new maps to be drawn, while the state Assembly and other races will remain on June 28.
Republicans sued to have the Assembly districts redrawn, but last week upstate judges denied the request by saying that time will not allow it.
By late Sunday, Democrats Paul Nichols and Gary Greenberg, who ran for governor and state Senate, respectively, and New York Young Republican Club President Gavin Wax filed an emergency lawsuit that asked a New York City-based court to throw out the state's Assembly maps and to hold all of the state’s primaries on Aug. 23, or even later: on Sept. 13.