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 Sutherland, partner 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.
- “Petitioners Ask Ohio Supreme Court to Reject Redrawn Legislative Maps and Order Commission to Consider Rodden Maps,” Brennan Center for Justice press release, Feb. 28, 2022
- “Ohio Voters File Motion to Intervene in Federal Redistricting Suit that Would Impose Unfair Maps,” Brennan Center for Justice press release, Feb. 25, 2022
- “Ohio Supreme Court Orders Second Redrawing of Legislative Maps Due to Partisan Gerrymandering,” Brennan Center for Justice press release, Feb. 7, 2022
- “Victory for Ohioans: Ohio Supreme Court Throws Out Legislative Maps for Illegal Partisan Gerrymandering,” Brennan Center for Justice 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
- “Ohio Take Note: Fairness Is a Universal Value” by Tala Dahbour, policy director, CAIR-Ohio
- “How Gerrymandering Contributes to Environmental Injustice” by Callia Téllez, environmental policy fellow, Ohio Environmental Council
- “Lawmaker’s ‘Rigged’ Map Would Steal Ohioans’ Right to Representation” by Kathleen Clyde and Greg Moore, co-chairs, Ohio Citizens Redistricting Commission
- “We’re Suing Ohio Over Its Gerrymandered Voting District Maps” by Alicia Bannon, Yurij Rudensky, and Julia Kirschenbaum, Brennan Center for Justice