Ohio Justices toss GOP Statehouse maps, order fix in 10 days

Ohio Justices toss GOP Statehouse maps, order fix in 10 days
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 4:05 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP/WXIX) - The Ohio Supreme Court has declared as invalid newly drawn legislative maps that would have retained Republican supermajorities in both the Ohio House and Ohio Senate.

The court ordered the GOP-drawn boundaries redrawn within 10 days.

Wednesday’s two-paragraph entry by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor is a victory for Democratic and voting-rights groups that had challenged the lines as unconstitutionally gerrymandered.

>> Read the ruling <<

The court ordered the bipartisan Ohio Redistricting Commission to reconvene and fix the maps. Justices retained authority to review the new maps.

The commission was created by voters in 2015.

It was unable to strike bipartisan compromise earlier and had disbanded.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed the Republican-proposed bill approving the newly proposed congressional map back in November after it passed both the House and the Senate.

It was set to take effect in early 2023 and remain active for four years.

Ohio receives a certain number of U.S. House districts each time a new population count is taken. This year’s count reduced the state’s districts to 15 from 16.

DeWine issued the following statement early Wednesday evening:

“Throughout this process, I expected that Ohio’s legislative maps would be litigated and that the Ohio Supreme Court would make a decision on their constitutionality. I will work with my fellow Redistricting Commission members on revised maps that are consistent with the Court’s order.”

State Rep. Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) spoke on behalf of the House Democratic Caucus, saying:

“Ohioans spoke not once, but twice, to demand fair maps. Now we have heard from the highest Court. We have another chance to produce fair maps for Ohio, and there is no reason why we can’t adopt fair, 1o-year state legislative maps that meet the constitutional requirements Ohio voters have demanded. Having fair maps means that Ohioans will have better representation, stronger communities, and a more functional legislature and state government.”

If the Supreme Court finds Ohio's new statehouse maps unconstitutional, it will order the...
If the Supreme Court finds Ohio's new statehouse maps unconstitutional, it will order the commission to redraw the maps.(WTVG)

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