Judge Patrick McAllister listens to arguments during a hearing in...

Judge Patrick McAllister listens to arguments during a hearing in court, Thursday, March, 31, 2022 in Bath, N.Y.  Credit: AP/Vaughn Golden

A midlevel judge on Friday extended a temporary stay that has put on hold a lower-court ruling that threw out New York’s new election maps for Congress and the State Legislature.

Justice Stephen K. Lindley of the Appellate Division extended the stay until April 20 — the day Democratic and Republican lawyers will present oral arguments before a full panel of appeals judges.

Lindley’s action keeps in place New York’s official 2022 political calendar while the lawsuit continues, maintaining the June 28 primary for statewide offices and Congress.

Earlier this year, the Democratic-dominated State Legislature and Gov. Kathy Hochul, also a Democrat, approved new election maps for the state Senate and Assembly and New York’s congressional districts as part of a once-a-decade process of redistricting based on the latest U.S. Census.

The new maps shifted the number of Democratic-leaning congressional districts in New York from 19 to 22 and decreased Republican ones from eight to four, analysts have said. New York is losing one congressional seat this year, going from 27 to 26.

Republicans filed a lawsuit — in Steuben County, one of New York’s most Republican counties — to have the maps declared unconstitutionally gerrymandered. They also claim Democrats didn’t follow the proper constitutional procedure for adopting new maps.

On March 31, Republican Judge Patrick McAllister agreed with the GOP and ordered the legislature to draw up new maps and move the state primaries to August. But on Monday, Lindley issued a temporary stay, or suspension, of McAllister’s decision.

He extended the stay again, not wanting to disrupt candidates’ ongoing attempts to qualify for the ballot. He noted candidates across New York turned in petitions to qualify for the ballot just this week and opponents now have a window to legally challenge those petitions.

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