Federal Court Imposes Unconstitutional Maps for Ohio State Legislative Primaries

Federal judges made good on a promise at midnight Saturday by implementing Ohio state legislative district maps that were previously ruled unconstitutional twice by the Ohio Supreme Court.

The three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, by a vote of 2-1, also ordered the state to hold its second primary Aug. 2.

“Given the factual record before us, two reasons justified our approach. First, no map had wo the approval of both the Commission and the Ohio Supreme Court. And second, Map 3 gave the state the most time to fix its own problem. That broke the tie,” the order, signed by judges Amul Thapar and Benjamin Beaton, read.

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Democrats’ Dreams Turn to Dust as Adjudicated Redistricting Maps Set the Stage for Large Republican Gains in 2022

The Democratic Party’s hopes of gaining seats from redistricting have been crushed as court decisions and an increasingly aggressive GOP produced more Republican-friendly maps.

Democrats were initially optimistic that they could mitigate projected midterm losses in the House when it appeared they were poised to score wins in the redistricting process. However, the party’s hopes have been dashed after key losses in major states erased their redistricting advantage.

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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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Always Right with Host Bob Frantz: Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose on the Continuation of Moving Goal Posts

Monday morning on Always Right with Bob Frantz, weekday mornings on AM 1420 The Answer, host Frantz welcomed Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose to the show to discuss the strategy of Democrats to ‘sue until their blue’ and violate the Ohio constitution.

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Ohio Secretary of State Blasts Supreme Court Ruling Blocking Redistricting Maps

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose blasted a ruling from the Ohio Supreme Court, which blocked the state’s redistricting maps for the fourth time.

The ruling requires a new set of maps to be drawn and submitted to the Court and the Secretary of State’s office by May 6th.

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Ohio Congressman Retires amid Redistricting

Bob Gibbs

A U.S. Congressman from Ohio unexpectedly retired from his post Wednesday amid the state’s long and dramatic congressional redistricting saga. 

“These long, drawn-out processes, in which the Ohio Supreme Court can take weeks and months to deliberate while demanding responses and filings from litigants within days, is detrimental to the state and does not serve the people of Ohio,” Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH-07) said. “It is irresponsible to effectively confirm the congressional map for this election cycle seven days before voting begins, especially in the Seventh Congressional District where almost 90 percent of the electorate is new and nearly two thirds is an area primarily from another district, foreign to any expectations or connection to the current Seventh District.”

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Ohio Congressman Retires amid Redistricting

Bob Gibbs

A U.S. Congressman from Ohio unexpectedly retired from his post Wednesday amid the state’s long and dramatic congressional redistricting saga. 

“These long, drawn-out processes, in which the Ohio Supreme Court can take weeks and months to deliberate while demanding responses and filings from litigants within days, is detrimental to the state and does not serve the people of Ohio,” Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH-07) said. “It is irresponsible to effectively confirm the congressional map for this election cycle seven days before voting begins, especially in the Seventh Congressional District where almost 90 percent of the electorate is new and nearly two thirds is an area primarily from another district, foreign to any expectations or connection to the current Seventh District.”

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Louisiana’s Republican Legislature Overrides Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards Veto of Redistricting Plan

John Bel Edwards

Louisiana’s Republican-controlled legislature voted to override Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards’s veto of the congressional redistricting plan they passed in mid-February.

The new congressional maps will maintain the partisan makeup status quo of the the state’s delegation to the United States House of Representatives.

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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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New Hampshire State Senate Set to Vote on House-Passed Redistricting Proposal

New Hampshire State Capitol

The New Hampshire State Senate is set to vote on the House-approved redistricting plan on Thursday.

New Hampshire is one of four remaining states that have yet to complete their congressional redistricting process. The others are Louisiana, Florida, and Missouri.

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Democrats Currently Lead in National Redistricting Efforts with Four States Still Completing Process

Democrats currently have the lead in redistricting efforts with four states still working on new maps.

Forty states, 46 if the states that have one congressional district are included, have finished the process of drawing new maps for U.S. House of Representatives districts. Only Florida, Missouri, Louisiana, and New Hampshire have yet to finish their redistricting process.

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Ohio Redistricting Commission Passes Third Set of State Legislative Maps

Robert Cupp and Vernon Sykes

The GOP-dominated Ohio Redistricting Commission has passed its third set of state legislative maps, a week after a court-ordered deadline and with one Republican objection.

The 4-3 commission vote means if the maps are approved by the Ohio Supreme Court, they last only four years rather than the traditional 10 that would have happened with bipartisan support on the commission.

Commission Co-Chair and House Speaker Bob Cupp, R-Lima, said the new maps, which were passed late Thursday, met all the constitutional requirements established when voters created the commission and twice when the court ruled previous maps were unfairly gerrymandered to benefit Republicans.

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Ohio Attorney General Loses Motion to Relegate Democrats to ‘Friend’ Status in Redistricting Lawsuit

Senator Vernon Sykes and Allison Russo

The Ohio Supreme Court agreed with two Democrats on the Ohio Redistricting Commission and denied a motion from Attorney General Dave Yost to relegate the two to “friend of the court” status in ongoing legal challenges to new state legislative districts.

Commission co-chair Sen. Vernon Sykes, D-Akron, and House Minority Leader Allison Russo, D-Upper Arlington, called Yost’s motion an attempt to silence the two, who had voted against the original maps and ones reconfigured by order of the court.

“I am relieved to see that a fair process is continuing in the courts,” Russo said. “We spoke up for the people against unconstitutional maps, while the Attorney General tried to silence us. AG Yost should not have tried to put his thumb on the scale in this process. Now, we wait the court’s decision on the submitted maps and let the process play out with greater transparency.”

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New York Officially Adopts New Congressional Lines that Could Axe Half the GOP Delegation

Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul late Thursday signed a new congressional map into law that could eliminate half of the state’s Republicans in the House.

The signing, reported by the Associated Press, comes just days after the state legislature advanced the map on near party lines. The map gives Democrats an advantage in 22 of the state’s 26 seats.

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Analysis: States Where Unelected Bureaucrats Took over Redistricting Experienced Difficulties

In Michigan, the state’s civil rights agency said proposed maps of legislative districts “do not measure up to the requirements of the law.” In Pennsylvania, Republican lawmakers complained about an “extreme partisan gerrymander.” And in Virginia, incumbents and potential challengers scrambled to work with proposed district maps.

In theory, new bureaucracies to draw up maps for congressional and legislative districts were supposed to save democracy from politics and block the practice of gerrymandering.

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Ohio Supreme Court Set to Hear Challenge to State’s New Congressional Districts

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.

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Pennsylvania House Committee Releases Public-Drawn Congressional Redistricting Map

The Pennsylvania House State Government Committee has unveiled a preliminary map for new congressional districts, selected from one of 19 submitted by the public.

Rep. Seth Grove, R-York, chair of the State Government Committee, said a map submitted by Lehigh County resident Amanda Holt was selected because it was crafted without political influence, met constitutional standards and limited splits of townships and municipalities, among other factors.

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North Carolina Adopts New Congressional Map That Favors Republicans

The North Carolina General Assembly on Thursday finalized the state’s new U.S. House map that gives Republicans a distinct advantage over Democrats.

The map creates 10 safe Republican seats, three safe Democratic seats and one competitive seat, up from the current 8-5 map now. North Carolina is the only state where the legislature has full control over the redistricting process, meaning that the new lines can skirt what would be an all but certain veto from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and go into effect.

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Pennsylvania Bill Would Clarify That Courts Can’t Redraw Electoral Maps, as State Supreme Court Did in 2018

Legislation currently in the works in the Pennsylvania General Assembly would spell out two rules for redistricting in the Keystone State: Elections cannot legally take place in outdated districts and courts can’t create new districts themselves.

In Feb. 2018, the Democrat-controlled Pennsylvania Supreme Court not only struck down Pennsylvania’s congressional maps as unconstitutionally gerrymandered, it reimposed new maps created with no input from the legislature, something state law does not grant the court the right to do. The new maps strongly favored the Democrats’ electoral prospects.

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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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In Final Days as Attorney General, DeWine Files Motion to Dismiss Ohio Redistricting Lawsuit

Gov.-elect Mike DeWine (R-OH) appears to be making every last day of his tenure as Attorney General count. This week, DeWine filed a motion to have an upcoming gerrymandering lawsuit tossed out. The suit would mandate the redrawing of all of Ohio’s 16 congressional districts before the 2020 election. In May of…

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Ten Laws That Spell Major Changes for Ohio in 2019

In terms of legislation, 2018 may be considered one of Ohio’s most impactful years in recent history. From the approval of the first medicinal marijuana dispensary to new abortion limitations, 2019 will see a dramatic change for many Ohioans. Compiled below are ten of the most significant changes coming to the…

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Supreme Court Lets Contested District Maps In Texas, NC Remain In Effect

SCOTUS, North Carolina, Texas

by Kevin Daley   The U.S. Supreme Court Monday cleared the way for Texas and North Carolina to use a set of contested legislative district lines, declining to side with plaintiffs who alleged the maps were gerrymandered for partisan or racial advantage. The decisions come one week after the high…

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