State Supreme Court Rules Against Republicans’ Newly Drawn Legislative Maps
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the state’s GOP-drawn redistricting map was unconstitutionally gerrymandered.
The court said the amendment violates a 2015 constitutional amendment that requires a redistricting attempt to avoid favoring one particular party, according to The Associated Press.
The map in dispute was created by Ohio’s Redistricting Commission made up of five Republicans and two Democrats. The map was not agreed upon by the Commission but passed the legislature along party lines, the AP reported. (RELATED: Maryland Democrats Sued Over ‘Extreme’ Gerrymandering Of 2022 Congressional Maps)
The three dissenting Republican justices argued the Ohio Constitution does not give the court the authority to dismiss the maps.
“The text of the Ohio Constitution is clear, and given the allegations in the complaints, this court lacks the authority to act as requested by the petitioners bringing these cases,” Justice Patrick Fischer wrote in the opinion, reported the AP.
The decision addresses three separate lawsuits filed against the maps by various groups, including the ACLU, according to the AP.
“The Ohio Supreme Court’s decision is huge,” ACLU of Ohio Legal Director Freda Levenson said, reported the outlet.
“It not only orders the immediate drawing of a new, constitutional map, but it also validates that Ohio’s voter-enacted constitutional prohibition that partisan gerrymandering is not merely ‘aspirational’ — it has real teeth,” Levenson added. “This bodes well for the 2022 election cycle — and beyond.”
A similar lawsuit over North Carolina’s congressional and state legislative map was ruled Tuesday to be constitutional. Other states with current lawsuits regarding redistricting maps include Texas, Georgia, Maryland, Illinois and New Mexico.