Monday, January 24, 2022

Ohio Supreme Court Rejects Republican Party Map of Congress

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a new map of the state’s congressional districts as fraudulent, sending the draft back for another try.

In a 4-3 decision, the justices returned the map to the powerful Ohio Redistricting Commission or its fellow map-drawers in the Legislature, and said they must ensure that the next plan does indeed conform to the Ohio State Constitution.

The commission was already meeting to redraw the legislative maps rejected on Wednesday.

In a letter on behalf of the majority, Judge Michael Donnelly, one of three Democrats on the trial, wrote: “The evidence in these cases clearly shows that the General Assembly did not heed the call of Ohio voters to stop political fraud. “.

The three Democrats on the court were joined by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, a moderate Republican who is due to leave the court due to age restrictions at the end of the year.

The decision affects separate lawsuits filed by constituency and Democratic groups that have argued that it is indisputable that the card unconstitutionally “wrongly” supports the Republican Party. Two lawsuits were filed by the legal department of the Democratic National Redistricting Commission, as well as by the offices of the League of Women Voters in Ohio and the A. Philip Randolph Institute.

The groups said either 12 or 13 of the 15 counties on the map support the Republicans, despite the fact that the GOP has only won about 54% of the vote in races across the state over the past decade.

In 2018, Ohio voters approved a constitutional amendment that established a new system to avoid fraud.

Three other Republicans in court, including Judge Pat DeWine, son of Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, named plaintiff in the case, disagreed.

They said it was not clear how to determine if a card was “inappropriately favoring” one side over the other.

“When a majority says the plan is unduly favorable to the Republican Party, it means that the plan is unduly favorable to the Republican Party compared to the results that would be obtained if we followed the proportional representation system,” the dissenters said.

Republicans defended the card as “highly competitive”.

Ohio and other states were required to redraw their congressional maps to reflect the results of the 2020 Census, according to which Ohio lost one of its current 16 counties due to a population gap.

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