Ohio Supreme Court rejects legislative maps -- again

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 4:41 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVG) - For the fifth time in Ohio’s ongoing redistricting saga, the state’s Supreme Court struck down the Ohio Redistricting Commission’s legislative maps as unconstitutional.

It ordered the commission to create a new plan for state House and Senate maps by June 3 in what would be the sixth round of the map-drawing process.

Wednesday’s 4-3 decision marks the fifth time the court rejected the commission’s General Assembly maps, ruling them unconstitutional for unfairly favoring Republicans and disfavoring Democrats.

The Ohio Redistricting Commission, which has a 5-2 Republican majority, had resubmitted the commission’s third set of legislative maps that the court previously rejected. The court instructed the panel to draw an entirely new plan.

A federal court is poised to force the state to use that third plan if a new one is not approved by this Saturday.

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor expressed dissatisfaction with the federal court’s handling of the state’s redistricting mess, writing that the federal court “effectively instructed the Republican members of the commission that all they had to do to get their way was to wait out the clock until May 28-despite the valid order of this court ordering the commission to adopt an entirely new General Assembly-district plan that complies with the Ohio Constitution by May 6.”

Justice Sharon Kennedy argued the redistricting process was “highjacked” by the majority of justices, saying the punishment for not having bipartisan maps is they last for only four years instead of ten.

The court also decided Wednesday it would not hold members of the commission in contempt for failing to adhere to the court’s previous orders to submit a fifth plan.

You can read the Ohio Supreme Court opinion in its entirety below.

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