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Judge Patrick McAllister ruled that New York’s congressional voting maps are unconstitutional, ruling they provide a benefit to New York Democrats.

Many were surprised by the New York ruling, as state voting maps across the country have been found to unfairly favor Republicans. Yet Judge McAllister, a GOP-appointee, felt unmoved, and insisted on redrawn maps that have bipartisan support. 

New York is a reliably Democratic state, one in which Letitia James, a Black woman, is the Attorney General, and is currently pursuing the Trump family for fraud. James has vowed to fight against the ruling. 

According to Senate Democratic spokesperson Mike Murphy, ??“This is one step in the process. We always knew this case would be decided by appellate courts. We are appealing this decision and expect this decision will be stayed.”

Ruling impacts Black voters in New York

Meanwhile, nearly all Black voters in New York are Democrats. Nearly 90% of registered Black voters identify as Democrats, making the New York district voting maps fight integral for Black citizens. 

The GOP’s plan to get the maps tossed out hinged on a rural appellate court ruling. The GOP, meanwhile, typically endorses gerrymandering – when it benefits them.

In his ruling, Judge McAllister demanded new maps by April 11. However, this will affect upcoming elections, as petitions to get on the ballot are due before April 11.

In Alabama, Black voters had to fight through multiple court cases to get equal representation in congressional districts. North Carolina’s congressional maps are just as messy, with fights between Democrats and Republicans over extreme gerrymandering. 

Additionally, New York’s woes come at a time when many other states are fighting for fair representation for Democrats as well.  Politicians redrawn congressional district maps every decade, following the census. 

Erika Stone is a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Oklahoma, and a graduate assistant at Schusterman Library. A Chess Memorial Scholar, she has a B.A. in Psychology...