A federal court has stepped into a redistricting battle in New York City, threatening Charlie Rangel’s congressional seat. According to DNAinfo, the court ordered the state to accept their restricting plan after local officials failed to agree on one of their own. The proposal draws lines that will pit State Sen. Adriano Espaillat against his Harlem neighbor, Rep. Charles Rangel in the next congressional election.
The move, less than 24 hours before the petitioning process begins for the June 26, 2012 primaries, came because state legislators were unable to reach a deal on how to redraw the district boundaries, necessitated after a 2010 census count forced New York to lose two of its 29 congressional seats.
“The court declares New York to be without a congressional redistricting plan that conforms to the requirements of federal law, and it hereby orders defendants to implement the redistricting plan attached,” the Brooklyn Federal Court judges wrote in their decision, which largely adopted a plan drawn by a judge earlier this month.
While members of the Dominican community, including Espaillat and the Dominican American National Roundtable (DANR), had lobbied for the creation of a new, majority Latino district stretching from Washington Heights and Inwood, through parts of Queens and the Bronx, the panel rejected their pleas.
They said the new map already created a new majority-Hispanic district, based in Harlem and that the proposed plan would have been too unwieldy geographically.
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