The New York Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling by lower court, allowing for a 63rd State Senate District in New York. State Senate Democrats had sued to try to stop its creation, claiming that the Republican State Senate majority had not acted within State laws and the New York State Constitution. The New York Court of Appeals is the highest court in the state judicial system.
The State Senate Democrats had argued the map, which was approved by Governor Andrew Cuomo, used unprecedented “creative accounting” measures that did not match with constitutional provisions for district creation. The lawsuit further contends that the extra district was created to maintain political power. The Republicans hold a 32-30 seat advantage over the Democrats in the State Senate.
However, the state Court of Appeals, which took the case on an expedited basis, rendered a unanimous decision, saying that New York’s Constitution does not disallow the change
In its decision, the state Court of Appeals wrote: “It is not our task to address the wisdom of the methods employed by the Legislature in accomplishing their constitutional mandate.”
The ruling upholds Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Richard Braun’s ruling from April. In his ruling Braun said he found the methods of the State Senate Republicans to be disturbing, he said that lawyers for the State Senate Democrats did not give evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that the Legislature acted unconstitutionally.
Last week, US Department of Justice granted pre-clearance to the redistricting maps, saying that they complied with the “one-man, one-vote” provisions in the Voting Rights Act.
The new 63rd district mostly covers Republican suburbs west and south of Albany.
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