McAllister defended the special master’s draft and final proposals, writing in the court order that “unfortunately some people have encouraged the public to believe that now the court gets to create its own gerrymandered maps that favor Republicans.”
He said that with the state’s 2012-drawn lines, eight Republicans were elected to Congress and the initial Democratic-drawn map for this round of redistricting “would have only favored four Republicans being elected.”
The judge said the new map would create “eight competitive districts” and “three districts in which Republicans will likely win.”
One key change to the draft map took place in Brooklyn, where the Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights communities, which had each been split in the previous version, were placed whole back into their respective districts. The change eliminates concerns among Democrats that Reps. Hakeem Jeffries and Yvette Clarke, both of whom are Black, would be forced to run for the same seat.
“The restoration of the iconic neighborhood of Bedford Stuyvesant into one Congressional District is a small step,” Jeffries said in a statement Saturday, before adding, “We will not let modest changes to a severely flawed draft map whitewash the violence done to communities of color throughout New York City.”
The special master’s final map also included changes on Long Island. Republicans will likely continue to have a stronghold in the 2nd District, represented by GOP Rep. Andrew Garbarino.
Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis’ Staten Island-based seat, which Democrats had tried to redraw to favor them, will remain Republican-leaning and not include more liberal parts of Brooklyn.
This story has been updated with additional developments.
CNN’s Gregory Krieg contributed to this report.