Ohio Supreme Court Tosses Redistricting Maps – Again

Calling the actions of Republicans on the Ohio Redistricting Commission a “stunning rebuke of the rule of law,” the Ohio Supreme Court rejected for a fifth time a set of Ohio House and Senate district maps.

The decision came three days before a deadline set by federal judges, who said they would implement maps ruled unconstitutional if no new legal maps were created.

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Ohio Redistricting Commission Republicans Argue for Previously Tossed Maps

Republicans on the Ohio Redistricting Commission want the state’s Supreme Court to put legal challenges to proposed district maps on hold until after the November general election.

The commission majority wants to use state legislative district maps already ruled unconstitutional to hold an Aug. 2 primary and the general election. It wants the court not to order the commission to draw new maps until after November.

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Ohio Redistricting Commission Sends Previous Tossed Out Maps Back to Court

Groups that successfully challenged the constitutionality of the third set of Ohio state legislative redistricting maps will likely challenge again after the Ohio Redistricting Commission resubmitted the previously thrown out maps.

The commission voted 4-3 late Thursday to send back its third attempt at Senate and House districts, even though the court had already ruled they unfairly favored Republicans. The Ohio Supreme Court had set a 9 a.m. Friday deadline for maps to be submitted.

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Ohio Redistricting Commission Sets Meeting Two Days Before Deadline

Robert Cupp and Vernon Sykes

More than two weeks after the Ohio Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional a fourth attempt at establishing Ohio legislative districts, the Ohio Redistricting Commission scheduled a meeting.

That meeting will come two days before the court’s deadline to submit a new set of maps.

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Doors Locked at Ohio Redistricting Commission Meeting Room

Democrats on the Ohio Redistricting Commission invited the five Republican members to a commission meeting Monday morning after contacting members several times over the past week asking for the group to reconvene.

When House Minority leader Allison Russo, D-Upper Arlington, and Sen. Vernon Sykes, D-Akron, showed up to the committee meeting room at the Ohio Statehouse, the doors were locked and no Republican showed up.

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Federal Court Imposes May 28 Deadline on Ohio Redistricting Commission

A federal court gave the Ohio Redistricting Commission until May 28 to draw state legislative redistricting maps that meet a court order, or it will implement a previously rejected map so the state can hold an Aug. 2 primary.

The three-judge panel, voting 2-1, said it would impose the commission’s third set of maps because the state had started preparing to use those maps before they were declared unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court.

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Court Ruling Sends Ohio Redistricting Commission Back to Drawing Maps

Justice Michael Donnelly was stronger in a concurring opinion.

“The independent map drawers’ efforts were apparently little more than a sideshow – yet more fodder in this political sport,” Donnelly wrote. “What appeared to be the start of a transparent redistricting process when the two independent map drawers were engaged by the commission became transparent only in the sense that it exposed the falsehood that some of the commission members had fulfilled their obligations under the Ohio Constitution. As to that, Ohioans are still watching and waiting.”

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Ohio Redistricting GOP Say They Had No Options for State Maps

Republican members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission say they did everything the state Supreme Court ordered them to do. Still, they say independent map makers ran out of time, leaving tweaks to a previously unconstitutional GOP plan as the only option for new state legislative districts.

The responses from Gov. Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Frank LaRose, State Auditor Keith Faber, Senate President Matt Huffman, R-Lima, and House Speaker Robert Cupp, R-Lima, came at the 9 a.m. deadline on Monday the court gave to show cause why the group should not be held in contempt.

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Ohio Redistricting Commission Adopts Modified Versions of Thrown-Out Maps

Ohio State House

Republicans on the Ohio Redistricting Commission passed a modified version of state legislative districts previously ruled unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court, bypassing the efforts of two independent map makers it hired last week.

An hour before Monday’s 11:59 p.m. court ordered deadline, the commission voted along party lines, 5-2, in favor of maps drawn by Republicans.

Democrats claimed the approved maps again were drawn in secret while the map makers worked for days in public to develop maps. House Minority Leader Allison Russo, D-Upper Arlington, called it a slap in the face to Ohio voters.

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Ohio Supreme Court Leaves Primary Election Date in Hands of General Assembly

Robert Cupp and Vernon Sykes

The Ohio Supreme Court rejected a Democrat request to move the state primary to June, while independent map makers told the Ohio Redistricting Commission progress is slow creating a fourth set of state legislative districts.

The Supreme Court left the power to establish election dates and times in the hands of the General Assembly after Sen. Vernon Sykes, D-Akron, and House Minority Leader Allison Russo, D-Upper Arlington, filed a motion last week to have the court set a new date.

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Independent Map Makers Get Orders from Ohio Redistricting Commission

Two independent map makers could have a first draft of state legislative maps to the Ohio Redistricting Commission by Thursday night, a day after getting their instructions.

The commission faces a Monday deadline to have new maps on the desk of Secretary of State Frank LaRose, who must have the maps to the Ohio Supreme Court by 9 a.m. Tuesday.

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Court Tosses Ohio Legislative District Maps for Third Time

Ohio State House

Ohio’s May 3 primary elections are in jeopardy after the state Supreme Court struck down state legislative maps for the third time.

The court ruled 4-3 late Wednesday night the maps unfairly favor Republicans, saying the Ohio Redistricting Commission has attempted three sets of maps without input from Democrats on any, instead using GOP staffers to draft each map.

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Ohio Redistricting Commission Sets Meeting on Deadline Date

The Ohio Redistricting Commission announced it will meet Thursday, the same day as a court-ordered deadline to submit its third effort at state legislative maps.

The meeting comes as the two Democrats on the commission have spent the past two weeks calling for meetings and after Republican State Auditor Keith Faber criticized Democrats for not calling a meeting themselves, despite commission rules that require both co-chairs to make the call.

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State Supreme Court Tosses Ohio’s Legislative District Maps for Second Time

The Ohio Supreme Court again sided with the League of Women Voters and tossed out new state legislative district maps for a second time, saying Republicans on the Ohio Redistricting Commission disregarded its initial ruling.

The court ruled, 4-3, the commission’s second attempt that preserved Republican majorities was unconstitutional and ordered the commission to adopt a new plan, saying if the commission would have used its time more wisely and been committed to working together to find a map that met court guidelines, it could have been accomplished.

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Commission Wants New Ohio Legislative Maps to Stay At Least Through General Election

The Ohio Redistricting Commission wants the Ohio Supreme Court to allow a second round of state legislative district maps to stand at least through this year’s elections.

The request comes as part of the commission’s response to challenges to the new maps that were forced to be redrawn after the court ruled the original maps illegally favored Republicans.

The commission asked for a decision by Feb. 11 or stay the issue until after the 2022 general election, allowing the revised plan to stay in effect until then.

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Adjustments Allowed to Ohio Primary Procedures After Legislative Map Challenges

The Ohio General Assembly has agreed to give Secretary of State Frank LaRose some authority to make administrative changes regarding the upcoming primary election while challenges to the state’s new legislative districts continue to play out in court.

LaRose asked for the power a little more than a week ago when the Ohio Redistricting Commission returned to work in an effort to meet a court order to redraw previously approved districts. The House and Senate approved the changes Wednesday, sending the legislation to Gov. Mike DeWine.

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Groups File Objections to Ohio’s Second Attempt at Legislative Maps

Several groups filed objections to the Ohio Redistricting Commission’s second attempt at redrawing state legislative maps, saying the commission failed to live up to reforms passed in 2018 and orders from the Ohio Supreme Court.

An 11:59 p.m. Tuesday deadline was in place to file legal claims with the Ohio Supreme Court, which declared the state’s first legislative district maps unconstitutional Jan. 12 and gave the commission 10 days to submit new ones.

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Democrats Applaud Court Decision to Throw Out Ohio Legislative Maps

Ohio Democrats believe an Ohio Supreme Court decision that tossed out the state’s new Senate and House legislative district maps is an opportunity to create fairer districts, while Gov. Mike DeWine said court challenges were not unexpected.

The court gave the Ohio Redistricting Commission 10 days to redraw maps it said did not comply with a 2015 constitutional amendment that requires an attempt to avoid party favoritism. The League of Women Voters, along with other groups, sued and claimed the maps heavily favored state Republicans.

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Ohio Supreme Court Rules State Legislative Redistricting Maps Must Be Redrawn

The Ohio Redistricting Commission has 10 days to redraw state legislative maps after the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday recently drawn maps that favored Republicans did not attempt to avoid party favoritism.

The court also retained jurisdiction to review the new maps.

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Ohio Supreme Court Hears Challenges to State’s New Congressional Map

Ohio Republicans argued voters have more competitive congressional districts than before, despite claims in lawsuits the General Assembly gerrymandered new maps to benefit Republican candidates.

Attorney Phillip Strach, who represents Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman, R-Lima, told the Ohio Supreme Court on Tuesday the state’s new congressional district map contains seven competitive districts, at least as many as any other plan offered.

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Congressional Redistricting in Ohio Stalls as Committee Risks Clock Running Out Again

The Ohio Redistricting Commission faces yet another deadline regarding the redrawing new congressional districts as members wait on Ohio House Speaker Robert Cupp bides his time on moving forward on a process that could have ended Sept. 30.

The commission has not met since the Ohio General Assembly failed to consider, let along pass, options for redistricas the state prepares to lose one congressional district following the reapportionment of congressional representation among the states sparked by the 2020 U.S. census.

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Ohio Supreme Court Rules the State’s Redistricting Commission Members Can Be Deposed

Republican members of Ohio’s redistricting commission will have to answer questions as part of three lawsuits challenging new state legislative district maps, the Ohio Supreme Court said.

Groups such as the League of Women Voters of Ohio, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Council on American-Islamic Relations filed lawsuits, claiming the legislative maps are unconstitutional and gerrymandered. The Ohio Supreme Court has jurisdiction over lawsuits that challenge redistricting.

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Third Lawsuit Filed to Stop Ohio’s New Legislative District Map

Two more lawsuits have been filed with the Ohio Supreme Court challenging Republican drawn legislative district maps, claiming they are unconstitutional and gerrymandered.

The most-recent challenge came Monday from the Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and was filed by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law and the law firm Reed Smith.

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Lawsuit Challenges Ohio’s New State Legislative Maps

Calling Ohio’s new state legislative district maps a flagrant violation of the Ohio Constitution and extreme partisan gerrymandering, the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit challenging maps it says give Republicans an unfair advantage.

The lawsuit, filed by the ACLU of Ohio, the ACLU and Burling LLP, was brought on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Ohio, the Ohio chapter of the A. Philip Randolph Institute and several individuals.

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Ohio Redistricting Commission Plans to Approve New Legislative Maps Wednesday

The Ohio Redistricting Commission expects to approve new legislative maps Wednesday, the constitutional deadline, after hearing testimony Tuesday, most of which was more critical of the proposed maps than supportive.

The commission heard from 90 witnesses Tuesday, the second public hearing for maps introduced Sept. 9. Many witnesses during the hearing, which began at 10 a.m. and was still going after 3 p.m., complained of divided neighborhoods, unfair district lines, confusing districts and an unopen process.

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Ohio Redistricting Commission Misses First Deadline

Ohio’s new redistricting commission missed its first constitutional deadline for redrawing legislative maps, and one of the group’s co-chairs laid the blame at the feet of the federal government.

House Speaker Bob Cupp, R-Lima, said late data from the U.S. Census Bureau was the reason the Ohio Redistricting Commission missed the Sept. 1 deadline to present its first maps and failed to hold three public hearings on those maps.

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