Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Ohio’s High Court overturns Congress’s new map, saying it’s an ‘unfair side of Republicans’

The Republican chief justice of the court joined three Democratic judges in the majority opinion, while three other judges on the court disagreed.

State lawmakers will now have 30 days to draw up a new Congressional District plan after the court ordered the legislature to draw up a new map that is “not determined by partisan considerations,” or that it can be a new plan. Comes to the Ohio Redistribution Commission to prepare. Day.

“When the dealer has already stacked the deck, the house usually wins,” Justice Michael Donnelly wrote for the majority. “This probably explains how a party that typically garners no more than 55 percent of the statewide popular vote is positioned to reliably win anywhere from 75 percent to 80 percent of the seats in the Ohio congressional delegation. Any By a logical measure, that odd result just doesn’t add up.”

The court also found that the map “unnecessarily divides” the three counties – Hamilton, Cuyahoga and Summit counties – in a way that is prohibited under the state’s constitution.

Republicans are well positioned to win a House majority, as the party traditionally does well in midterm elections, but Friday’s decision is a blow to Ohio’s Republicans.

Plaintiffs and other opponents of the map celebrated Friday’s decision.

“Once again, the Ohio Supreme Court did what the legislature refused to do – listened to the wishes of Ohio voters,” Ohio Democratic Party Chair Elizabeth Walters said in a statement. “Any map that advances our state in favor of one party over another is unacceptable and we will be watching closely to ensure that any new maps reflect the fair representation that Ohioans have made.” heavily called.”

Ohio was allocated 15 congressional seats after the 2020 US Census – one less seat than in 2011. Under the rejected maps, Republicans would have had as many as 12 or 13 of them.

The redistribution plan was passed in November by the Republican-controlled General Assembly without the support of Democratic members, and Republican Governor Mike DeWine signed the bill later that month.

The map was quickly challenged in court, with two lawsuits filed by Ohio voters and voting groups alleging that the map was “unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering” and that Congress followed the state constitution’s process of adopting redistribution plans. did not, which was reformed after Ohio voters. Tremendous approval in 2018

On Wednesday, Ohio’s High Court also rejected the state’s new maps for the state’s House and Senate districts and ordered the state’s redistribution commission to submit a new plan in 10 days.

This story has been updated.

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