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New York appellate court upholds Assembly redistricting process

Vaughn Golden
New York's Independent Redistricting Commission may move ahead drafting new lines for state Assembly districts, an appellate court ruled Tuesday.

The New York Independent Redistricting Commission will be allowed to continue drawing new district lines for Assembly districts, an appellate court ruled Tuesday.

A five-judge panel unanimously upheld the process for redrawing the Assembly districts that was instituted by a lower court last year. It ruled that assigning the redrawing of the maps to the IRC with approval by the state Legislature was constitutional.

“We endorse the procedures adopted by the court, find that they constitute appropriate remedial measures for a constitutional violation, and find that the remedy is consistent with the procedures set forth in the Constitution,” the ruling wrote.

The judges wrote in the ruling that allowing the IRC and Legislature to draft and approve the maps is appropriate given there’s less of a time constraint compared to the invalidation and redrawing of congressional and state Senate districts that occurred earlier last year. The plaintiffs in the case who brought the appeal argued that a court-appointed redistricting expert, or special master, should’ve drawn the new lines instead, as had been done with the congressional and state Senate maps.

Vaughn Golden has been reporting across upstate New York since 2016. After graduating with a degree in Journalism and Economics from Ithaca College, Vaughn reported for the Watertown Daily Times in the North Country before returning home to WSKG in 2021. Vaughn leads WSKG's Environment desk.