The Ohio Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on Tuesday, relating to the constitutionality of new congressional maps that were recently signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine.
The new map, passed earlier this year by the state legislature, established new boundaries for federal and state representation following new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Oral arguments before the Court will allocate 30 minutes to both sides in an attempt to persuade the justices.
Opponents of the map argue that the boundaries are unfairly drawn, giving Republican officials an electoral advantage.
“The majority has said much about how competitive their map is. But that is not a constitutional requirement and should not be used as an excuse to ignore what the Constitution does require: fair maps. What is a constitutional requirement is that the General Assembly shall not pass a plan that unduly favors or disfavors a political party or its incumbents. This map unduly favors one political party: the Republican party,” said Ohio Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights).
However, supporters of the legislation argue the map limits the splitting of counties and cities, often a target of individuals who claim a map is gerrymandered. Furthermore, DeWine argues the districts are more competitive than those of the last decade.
“When compared to the other proposals offered from House and Senate caucuses, both Republican and Democrat, the map in SB 258 makes the most progress to produce a fair, compact, and competitive map. The SB 258 map has fewer county splits and city splits than these recent proposals and the current congressional map,” Governor DeWine said when signing the map into law. “With seven competitive congressional districts in the SB 258 map, this map significantly increases the number of competitive districts versus the current map.”
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