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Press Release

Ohio Supreme Court Rejects Third Set of Legislative Maps Over Partisan Gerrymandering

In a win for petitioners in Ohio Organ­iz­ing Collab­or­at­ive v. Ohio Redis­trict­ing Commis­sion, the court has ordered the commission to produce new maps using an independent map drawer 

March 17, 2022
Contact: Romario R. Ricketts, Media Contact, rickettsr@brennan.law.nyu.edu, 646-925-8734

Last night, the Ohio Supreme Court struck down the third set of legis­lat­ive maps drawn by the Ohio Redis­trict­ing Commis­sion. In a 4–3 ruling, the court found that the maps, like prede­cessors, viol­ated the state’s consti­tu­tional prohib­i­tions against partisan gerry­man­der­ing and its propor­tion­al­ity stand­ards. The court said the commis­sion should retain an inde­pend­ent map drawer to produce a new set of state legis­lat­ive plans by March 28 and draft the maps in a series of public meet­ings. On Febru­ary 28, the peti­­tion­ers in Ohio Organ­­iz­ing Collab­or­at­ive v. Ohio Redis­­trict­ing Commis­­­sion filed objec­­tions with the court arguing the maps viol­­ated the Ohio consti­tu­­tion.

The Bren­nan Center for Justice at NYU Law 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.

Alicia Bannon, director of the Judi­ciary Program at the Bren­nan Center for Justice, had the follow­ing comment:

“For a third time, the Ohio Supreme Court has ordered the Ohio Redis­trict­ing Commis­sion to redraw its legis­lat­ive maps because the commis­sion­ers failed to comply with the state consti­tu­tion, specific­ally its ban on partisan gerry­man­der­ing that exists because 71% of Ohio’s elect­or­ate voted for it. Yet the ques­tion remains: when will the commis­sion act fairly in the public interest and fulfill its duty? The commis­sion’s flag­rant disreg­ard for the will of the people must come to an end. It is past time for the commis­sion­ers to honor their oblig­a­tions to the consti­tu­tion and the voters.”

Brian Suth­er­landpart­ner at Reed Smith, had the follow­ing comment:

“The commis­sion now has an oblig­a­tion to do the right thing: proceed with trans­par­ency, draft a plan with the full parti­cip­a­tion of all commis­sion members, and finally heed the Ohio consti­tu­tion. Anything short of this is unac­cept­able.”

The court’s order, the peti­­tion­ers’ objec­­tions, and more filings and back­­­ground on Ohio Organ­­iz­ing Collab­or­at­ive v. Ohio Redis­­trict­ing Commis­­­sion are avail­­able here.

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