The 4-3 decision is a major blow to Democrats who hoped to steal three additional seats.

The Court of Appeals heard arguments on Tuesday, where Republican voters claimed Democrats violated the state’s Constitutionally-mandated process for redistricting in order to gerrymander the maps to their benefit (via Politico).

On Wednesday, Democrats attempted to defend their map as a lawful solution that was designed to protect minority voting rights.

In a majority opinion signed by the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, the court wrote that Democrats had done “exactly what they would have done had the 2014 constitutional reforms never been passed.”

In 2014, New York voters wrote anti-gerrymandering reforms into the state’s constitution.

The court’s ruling means an outside expert known as a “special master” will be hired to redraw the maps. Its final form will likely help Republicans take a small lead in national redistricting.

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