In an unsurprising turn of events, the all-Democrat New Mexico Supreme Court upheld New Mexico’s extremely gerrymandered congressional map, dubbed by many as the “Frankenmap.”
The Court dismissed claims by the GOP that it favored Democrats excessively. The lawsuit, filed by New Mexico Republicans, argued that the state legislature’s redrawing of the map amounted to a Democratic gerrymander, violating the state’s constitution. This redistricting occurred before the 2022 midterms, and the alterations aimed to shift the 2nd Congressional District, previously leaning Republican, toward a more Democratic profile.
The contested district is currently held by Democrat Rep. Gabe Vasquez, who secured victory in 2022 against Republican Congresswoman Yvette Herrell by a margin of 0.7 percentage points. In 2020, Joe Biden carried the district by approximately 6 points. In the prior map, 45th President Donald Trump had won the district by nearly 12 points.
Despite the GOP’s legal efforts, the New Mexico Supreme Court rejected the lawsuit, marking another redistricting loss for Republicans. The party had sought a “partisan-neutral” redraw, but the court did not uphold this request. A trial court had previously determined that while the map favored Democrats, it didn’t meet the threshold for an “egregious” gerrymander.
Herrell is running again to reclaim the seat despite the extremely gerrymandered district that chopped conservative areas in as many as thirds to help Democrats swing the state for all-Democrat control. The former congresswoman has the support of all the GOP leadership in the House and chairmen of key committees.
As redistricting efforts unfold across the United States before the 2024 elections, both major political parties experience mixed outcomes. In North Carolina, Republicans secured a significant win, favoring the GOP in a new map split 7-7, with 10 districts leaning Republican, three toward Democrats, and one competitive seat. Democrats gained ground in Alabama due to a court ruling against a GOP-drawn map deemed a racial gerrymander. Georgia also faces a court-ordered redraw after a judge overturned a map accused of racial gerrymandering.
Louisiana Republicans have been instructed to redraw their map following a court ruling that deemed the current map a racial gerrymander. Wisconsin’s Supreme Court is deliberating on a map criticized for favoring Republicans despite Trump losing the state.
In New York, Democrats are considering redrawing the state’s map, with the timing of this process remaining uncertain before the 2024 elections.