Acting New York Supreme Court Justice Patrick McAllister approved the Special Master’s congressional redistricting map late Friday night, thereby increasing the number of competitive districts in the state to eight.
The court’s ruling Friday comes after Republicans challenged the Democratic-drawn map based on the 2020 U.S. Census that reduces the number of districts in the state from 27 to 26.
In an April decision, the state’s Supreme Court ruled that the map submitted by the Democratic majority in the state legislature was "unconstitutional" and represented gerrymandering to make it easier for that party to win and remanded the case back to a lower court, CNN reported at the time.
McAllister appointed Jonathan Cervas as Special Master to help draw the new map by May 24.
In his ruling, McAllister said that Cervas has "solid credentials in redistricting matters" and has worked on redistricting maps during three separate decades.
According to the ruling, three levels of the lower courts found the Democratic maps used in 2012 unconstitutional, and new district lines had to be drawn.
"Frankly, it was remarkable that special master Cervas was able to create both the Congressional and State Senate maps in such a short period of time," McAllister wrote in his ruling. "He and his team are to be commended."
Although the population in the state grew by 823,147 between the 2010 and 2020 census from 19,378102 to 20,201249 during the decade, the state still ends up losing a district of 717,707 people because of population shifts and the rules established for drawing the districts in the state constitution, according to the U.S. Census website.
The new congressional map contains 26 districts, each with 776,971 voters, compared to the 27 districts in the 2012 maps.
With the population increase, each district also received an equal share of 1,540,854 voters, increasing each of the new 26 districts by 59,264 to keep each equal in population.
According to CNN, the reshuffling will cause Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., to face Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., in a race for the new Manhattan 12th District.
The New York State Constitution allows congressional representatives to live outside the district they are elected to represent.
McAllister said he believes the approved maps are almost completely "neutral" on which party is favored to win and includes more competitive districts than the Democratic-drawn map submissions.
He said the court received more than 3,000 comments and map submissions from the public during the case.
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