State Watch

Ohio Supreme Court again strikes down state’s legislative maps as unconstitutional

The Ohio Supreme Court struck down a new legislative map as unconstitutional in a new ruling Monday night. 

The court rejected the maps that the redistricting commission approved on Jan. 22, according to the ruling. It has previously rejected another version of the maps submitted on Jan. 12.

“It is clear that the map drawers and the commission knew that their approach — starting with the invalidated map and switching competitive Republican-leaning districts to competitive Democratic-leaning districts — would have the dual effect of eliminating weak Republican districts and creating weak Democratic districts,” the ruling said.

The ruling referenced new constitutional language for the state that requires districts to favor parties in proportion to the make up of the statewide vote, which is 54 percent Republican and 46 percent Democratic.

But the court said that the latest plan that was submitted favored Republicans winning 58 percent of the seats.

In their dissenting opinion, two justices, including Pat DeWine, who is Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s (R) son, and Sharon Kennedy, sharply criticized the decision. 

“It is apparent that in disregard of constitutional standards, four members of this court have now commandeered the redistricting process and that they will continue to reject any General Assembly-district plan until they get the plan they want,” they wrote.

“At this point, one must wonder which seven-member body is the true redistricting commission—the constitutionally named officers or this court?”  

The court will allow the Ohio Redistricting Commission to redraw new House and Senate maps for the state no later Feb. 17.

Tags Mike DeWine

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