A state Supreme Court judge on Wednesday struck down proposed language for the upcoming redistricting amendment before voters in November, saying in a ruling that the measure is inaccurately described as “independent.”

In the ruling, Judge Patrick McGrath found the language was misleading since the proposed commission “cannot be described as ‘independent’ when eight out of the ten members are the handpicked appointees of the legislative leaders and the two additional members are essentially political appointees by proxy.”

If approved, the new redistricting process would take effect in 2022, when the new state Assembly, Senate and Congressional district lines are drawn based on the 2020 Census.

A challenge surfaced to the redistricting language earlier this month, when plaintiffs, including Neil Steiner, a litigation partner at Dechert LLP, argued the state Board of Elections included loaded and confusing language.

The redistricting amendment has split the state’s good-government groups: Citizens Union, for instance, has said the proposal far removes the redistricting process from the hands of state lawmakers. In an amicus brief filed this month, the group argued the proposal has a “wide range of procedures to ensure an open public process for arriving at a redistricting plan and an expedited legal review for its citizens.”

In a statement, Citizens Union called the amendment a chance for “real reform” at the state’s Capitol.

“This amendment creates an open and fair redistricting process that works in the interests of New Yorkers by creating a commission that takes drawing lines for political advantage out of the process, ensuring that district lines are not drawn to favor incumbents or to discourage competition and, for the first time, ensuring that the public has a say in the redistricting process,” said Dick Dadey, the group’s executive director. “On November 4th, all voters should vote yes for progress.”

The group also argues that enshrining the changes in the state’s constitution makes for an even more enhanced reform.

But McGrath found the proposal itself is “little more than a recommendation to the Legislature which can reject it for unstated reasons and draw its own lines.”

The redistricting amendment is the product of a compromise from March 2012 between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers.

For Common Cause, which opposes the amendment, the ruling today is a victory.

“Common Cause/NY is grateful for the Court’s common sense ruling: the redistricting commission cannot be described as independent because it isn’t. As the Judge made clear, this Commission would only be a proxy for the Legislature. Voters deserve the same straight talk when they go to cast their ballot in November. Common Cause/NY will be urging voters not to be fooled and to reject Proposition 1 on Election Day,” said Susan Lerner, the group’s executive director.

At the time, Cuomo had threatened to veto any legislative boundaries drawn by state lawmakers. Ultimately, state lawmakers agreed to an amendment to change the process in the next round in addition to a package of unrelated measures that were sought by the governor.

It’s not unusual for concerns to be raised over constitutional amendment ballot language: Last year, good-government groups blasted a proposal to expand casino gambling in New York for overly rosy language. The amendment passed.

Redistricting Decision by Nick Reisman