Fighting Illegal Gerrymandering

Government Justice Center is representing the Empire Center for Public Policy as amicus in state court proceedings over reapportioning New York’s congressional and senate districts. Empire Center for Public Policy has submitted its set of congressional and senate maps for a special master’s consideration. The special master is drawing new maps after the New York State Court of Appeals declared both the congressional and senate maps void.

The Court of Appeals agreed with the Steuben County Supreme Court that the congressional and senate maps were void because the Legislature failed to follow the redistricting procedure in the state Constitution. The Court of Appeals also upheld the trial court’s determination that the congressional map, drawn by the Legislature, was unconstitutionally gerrymandered for political gain.

Former Governor Cuomo and the Legislature signaled their intent to shirk the Constitution’s redistricting procedure when Cuomo’s executive branch failed to disburse budgeted funds to the Independent Redistricting Commission in 2020. Cuomo and the Legislature then refused to budget adequate funds for the IRC in 2021 until GJC filed a lawsuit to force the issue.