Petitioners in Ohio Organizing Collaborative v. Ohio Redistricting Commission today filed a motion, which asks the Ohio Supreme Court to reject the legislative maps adopted on May 6 by the Ohio Redistricting Commission and hold the commission in contempt of court. For the fifth time, the commission had defied the court’s orders to produce maps that meet the Ohio constitution’s standards and instead submitted districts already found to be unconstitutional.
In its filing, the commission used the state’s 2022 election calendar as an excuse for resubmitting invalid maps. Although the commission’s actions have put the calendar in turmoil, it has no responsibility for setting or implementing that calendar. Its responsibility is to draw constitutional maps.
Yurij Rudensky, senior counsel in the Democracy Program at Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law, had the following reaction:
“Self-serving excuses cannot mask the blatant illegality of the commission’s actions. The commission claims that it had the Ohio election calendar in mind when it tried for the fifth time to impose unfair maps on voters. That does not hold water. The commission is tasked with one thing and one thing only: adopting legislative maps that don’t violate the Ohio constitution.”
The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law and Reed Smith represent petitioners Ohio Organizing Collaborative, CAIR-Ohio, Ohio Environmental Council, Ahmad Aboukar, Crystal Bryant, Samuel Gresham Jr., Prentiss Haney, Mikayla Lee, and Pierrette “Petee” Talley.
Patrick Yingling, partner at Reed Smith, had the following reaction:
“The commission’s refusal to follow yet another clear order from the Ohio Supreme Court is unacceptable. The commission is bound by the orders of the court and is not above the law.”
The motion, the court’s order, and more filings and background on Ohio Organizing Collaborative v. Ohio Redistricting Commission are available here.
- “The Ohio Redistricting Fight Isn’t a Mess. It’s Progress,” by Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center
- “In Court to Fight Ohio’s Gerrymandered Maps,” by Sam Gresham, petitioner and chair of Common Cause Ohio
- “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
- “Lawmakers’ ‘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