Democrats had strenuously challenged both charges, arguing in court that the congressional and State Senate lines they drafted were legal and largely reflected shifting populations in New York. The Court of Appeals’ decision, however, was final.
The judges ordered Mr. Cervas to promptly draft replacements. Justice McAllister subsequently delayed the congressional and State Senate primaries from June until August to accommodate the changes.
Democratic lawmakers bitterly complained that they were not allowed to try to fix the maps themselves and that they were not given more input in the hastened replacement process.
Justice McAllister allowed only a single hearing in a courthouse in rural Bath, N.Y., five hours from New York City, for voters and interest groups to give input on the lines. Mr. Cervas, a postdoctoral fellow at Carnegie Mellon University who also advised Pennsylvania lawmakers on drawing new maps this year, worked quickly, delivering new maps in just a few weeks.
Mr. Cervas’s map removed one House seat altogether from upstate New York, to shrink the state’s delegation from 27 members to 26. New York was required to shed the seat after its population failed to keep pace with growth in other states in the 2020 census, continuing a decades-long trend.
Notably, Mr. Cervas also modified one of the more dramatic changes implemented by Democrats before the courts invalidated their map. The Legislature had fused ultraliberal Park Slope onto a district historically rooted in Staten Island, turning a New York City swing district currently held by Representative Nicole Malliotakis, a Republican, into a prime Democratic pickup opportunity. Mr. Cervas’s proposed lines still take the district into Southern Brooklyn but would add less liberal territory.
The courts did not at any point strike down new Assembly district lines that had been adopted by the Legislature with bipartisan support.
Last week, Justice McAllister rejected an attempt by several politicians to intervene in the ongoing legal dispute to try to have those maps invalidated as well. The politicians filed a new lawsuit in state court in Manhattan on Monday to try to make their arguments again in a different venue, but it was not clear they would get a more sympathetic hearing.