The Great New York Redistricting Headache.

So, we’re having ourselves a situation in New York with redistricting. The basics: New York, like many blue states that have been blue states for a while, has seen its population ratio to the rest of the country drop sufficiently that it’s losing two Congressional Districts this cycle. So they’re all trying to figure out how to redraw the map for an optimal destroy-your-enemies approach:

  • New York Democrats want to mess over New York Republicans. The New York GOP is defending several federal Congressional seats (six of the seven GOP-held seats are effectively freshmen) and its Senate majority; and New York Democrats are eager to try to winnow those numbers down. If they can figure out how to do it without eliminating a downstate district. Or two, frankly.
  • New York Republicans, on the other hand, are digging in their heels until they get at least their state Senate majority preserved (note that there is precious little loyalty, on either side, between the state and national parties).
  • And then there’s Governor Andrew Cuomo. He’s a Democrat… which means that he’s usually at war slightly more often with the Republican-controlled Senate than he is with the Democratic-controlled Assembly. He’s also currently stuck with a veto threat that, if not followed, will hurt his chances for later higher office. But if Cuomo does veto whatever devil’s bargain the New York legislature comes up with, then… Bad Things Happen.

And that’s why the courts are now involved. Justice Dora Irizarry (Republican, by the way*) has called for the Second Court of Appeals to create a three-judge panel that will settle this issue. State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos is noticeably nonchalant about the possible results, which suggests that either: the fix is in and the Democrats are about to get slammed; or that Skelos is going to use the threat that the Democrats are about to get slammed as a tool for getting the state Senate district maps that he wants. All depends on how cynical you’re feeling today, really.


Then again, it’s the New York legislature. Hard to be too cynical about those people.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*Heck of a thing when Wikipedia spells such things out and St. Johns University won’t.


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