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  • Brian R. Monahan

Governor passes law altering reapportionment review process



Following a much-watched legal battle brought forward in 2023, state Democrats were permitted by the courts to redistrict -  a decision much to the chagrin of the state’s GOP.


In tandem with that decision, the governor signed a law into effect limiting where future reapportionment review cases could be brought forth.


Where once any resident could approach the county supreme court in the judicial department where they reside, now only four courts in four judicial departments can review an apportionment. These four departments and courts are the first judicial department: New York County; the second judicial department: Westchester County; the third judicial department; Albany County; and the fourth judicial department: Erie County.


Each of the aforementioned courts is dominated by democratic judges, effectively ending the ability of “court shopping” on apportionment cases. In 2022, the GOP was able to launch a review of that year’s maps in Steubenville County, which rendered a favorable decision to Republican candidates.


The bill’s sponsor, Democratic Senator Zellnor Myrie of New York’s twentieth senate district, representing areas in central Brooklyn, could not be reached for comment by email prior to publication. It has been reported that the decision was made based on where the available expertise in reapportionment lies.

 

 

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