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Ohio Supreme Court docket rejects new map of congressional districts, says it’s gerrymandered

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The Ohio Supreme Court docket rejected a brand new map of state congressional districts Friday as gerrymandered, sending the blueprint again for one more strive. 

Within the 4-Three resolution, justices returned the map to the highly effective Ohio Redistricting Fee, or its map-drawing counterparts within the Legislature, and mentioned they have to guarantee the subsequent plan truly complies with the Ohio Structure. 

The fee was already reconstituting to redraw legislative maps rejected Wednesday. 


State Capitol of Ohio in Columbus

State Capitol of Ohio in Columbus (Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Common Photos Group by way of Getty Photos)

Writing for almost all, Justice Michael Donnelly, one of many court docket’s three Democrats, wrote, “(T)he proof in these instances makes clear past all doubt that the Basic Meeting didn’t heed the clarion name despatched by Ohio voters to cease political gerrymandering.” 

The court docket’s three Democrats had been joined by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, a average Republican set to depart the court docket resulting from age limits on the finish of the yr. 

The choice impacts separate lawsuits introduced by voting-rights and Democratic teams, which argued it was indeniable that the map unconstitutionally “‘unduly’ favors the Republican Occasion.” The 2 fits had been introduced by the Nationwide Democratic Redistricting Fee’s authorized arm, in addition to the Ohio workplaces of the League of Girls Voters and the A. Philip Randolph Institute. 

The teams mentioned both 12 or 13 of the map’s 15 districts favor Republicans, regardless of the GOP garnering solely about 54% of votes in statewide races over the previous decade. 

Ohio voters authorised a constitutional modification in 2018 that arrange a brand new system to keep away from gerrymandering. 

The court docket’s three different Republicans — together with Justice Pat DeWine, son of Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, a named plaintiff within the instances — dissented. 

A "Vote Here" sign along the road in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021.

A “Vote Right here” signal alongside the highway in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. (Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg by way of Getty Photos)

They mentioned it was unclear the way it must be decided {that a} map “unduly favors” one social gathering over one other. 

“When the bulk says that the plan unduly favors the Republican Occasion, what it means is that the plan unduly favors the Republican Occasion as in comparison with the outcomes that will be obtained if we adopted a system of proportional illustration,” the dissent mentioned. 


Republicans had defended the map as “extremely aggressive.” 

Ohio and different states had been required to redraw their congressional maps to replicate outcomes of the 2020 census, underneath which Ohio misplaced one among its present 16 districts resulting from lagging inhabitants. 

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