Commentators will make what they will of the redistricting Hoffmann v. New York State Independent Redistricting Commission case afterlife, as a cacophony of voices from media punditry and legalistic parsing continue to pour forth. In simple terms, Hoffmann, decided on Dec. 12, 2023, replaces the 2022 remedy delivered in Harkenrider v. Hochul, adjudicated on the basis of the failure of the Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) to do its job and the gerrymandered default plan that the legislature tried to impose.
The judicial remedy was the appointment of an independent officer to draw reasonably fair redistricted congressional lines. Hoffmann came along next to deal with whether that remedy applied across the 2020 decade, or was up for grabs again. The Court of Appeals chose the latter course, and granted a do-over mulligan for the IRC, and eventually the heavily one-sided legislature, to draw new lines once again.