The Ohio Supreme Court today rejected legislative maps that the Ohio Redistricting Commission had redrawn per the court’s earlier order. The court found that this second set of maps violated the state constitution’s prohibitions against partisan gerrymandering and fell short of its proportionality standards. The order came after objections to the redrawn maps were filed on January 26 by petitioners in Ohio Organizing Collaborative v. Ohio Redistricting Commission, along with filings by petitioners in two other challenges to the General Assembly maps. Noting that the commission had used the original unconstitutional maps as a starting point when producing its new plan, the court ordered the commission to reconvene and draw an entirely new plan that conforms with the Ohio Constitution.
“The court has spoken, twice. The Ohio Redistricting Commission has a duty to follow the state constitution and produce fair maps that serve Ohio’s voters, regardless of party,” said Alicia Bannon, director of the Judiciary program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law.
“The court was not taken in by the commission’s sleight of hand. The second maps, like the first ones, show partisan gerrymandering, which is against the law in Ohio, thanks to the voters,” said Patrick Yingling, partner at Reed Smith. “Ohioans deserve district lines drawn with fairness as the top priority, not party control.”
The Brennan Center for Justice and Reed Smith represent the petitioners: the Ohio Organizing Collaborative, CAIR-Ohio, Ohio Environmental Council, Ahmad Aboukar, Crystal Bryant, Samuel Gresham Jr., Prentiss Haney, Mikayla Lee, and Pierrette “Petee” Talley.
The court’s order today, the petitioners’ objections, and more filings and background on Ohio Organizing Collaborative v. Ohio Redistricting Commission are available here.
- “Petitioners Ask Ohio Supreme Court to Reject Redrawn Legislative Maps,” press release, Jan. 26, 2022
- “Back in Court Challenging Ohio’s Unfair Voting Maps,” Alicia Bannon, Yurij Rudensky, and Harry Isaiah Black, Brennan Center for Justice, Jan. 27, 2022
- “Victory for Ohioans: Ohio Supreme Court Throws Out Legislative Maps for Illegal Partisan Gerrymandering,” press release, Jan. 12, 2022
- “COVID Inequities Show Why Ohio’s Fair Map Mandate Must Not Be Ignored” by Jeniece Brock, policy and advocacy director, Ohio Organizing Collaborative, Dec. 10, 2021
- “How Gerrymandering Contributes to Environmental Injustice” by Callia Téllez, environmental policy fellow, Ohio Environmental Council, Dec. 6, 2021
- “Ohio Take Note: Fairness Is a Universal Value” by Tala Dahbour, policy director, CAIR-Ohio, Dec. 3, 2021
- “We’re Suing Ohio Over Its Gerrymandered Voting District Maps” by Alicia Bannon, Yurij Rudensky, and Julia Kirschenbaum, Brennan Center for Justice, Sept. 27, 202
- “Lawmaker’s ‘Rigged’ Map Would Steal Ohioans’ Right to Representation” by Kathleen Clyde and Greg Moore, co-chairs, Ohio Citizens Redistricting Commission, Sept. 14, 2021