If at first you don’t succeed, try and get rejected again. On Jan. 12th, the Ohio Supreme Court rejected legislative maps drawn by Ohio Republican lawmakers, stated they were “unconstitutional,” and set a 10-day deadline “to redraw lines that don’t gerrymander districts.”
According to the Columbus Dispatch, the Ohio Supreme Court has rejected another round of gerrymandering districts that reflects the 54% Republican, 46% Democrat voting preferences split over the past decade. The second map would have given Republicans a 57-42 advantage in the House and 20-13 edge in the Senate.
“It is clear that the map drawers and the commission knew that their approach — starting with the invalidated map and switching competitive Republican-leaning districts to competitive Democratic-leaning districts — would have the dual effect of eliminating weak Republican districts and creating weak Democratic districts,” the ruling said.
Republican judge Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor joined with three Democratic judges for a second time to reject the new maps in a 4-3 decision. Chief Justice O’Connor also added some context:
“The revised plan does not attempt to closely correspond to that constitutionally defined ratio. Our instruction to the commission is – simply – to comply with the Constitution,” the opinion said.
League of Women Voters of Ohio Executive Director Jen Miller spoke to Spectrum News 1 and stated, “Once again, this is a victory for Ohio voters.”
Ohio Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko (D) also provided a statement to Newsweek:
“Ohioans spoke loud and clear in 2015 when they overwhelmingly adopted reforms to end gerrymandering,” Ohio Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko (D) said in a statement obtained by Newsweek. “The Supreme Court has now said – not once, but twice – that ignoring those reforms and giving one party an unearned advantage in the legislature is not an option.”
The Ohio Supreme Court has given Ohio Redistricting Commission yet another deadline to redraw new House and Senate maps for the state no later Feb. 17.