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Press Release

U.S. District Court Sets May 28 Deadline for New Maps in Ohio Redistricting Case

If Deadline is Not Met, the Court Will Implement Maps for 2022 Primaries that Have Been Struck Down by the State Supreme Court as Unconstitutional

April 20, 2022
Contact: Rebecca Autrey, Media Contact, rebecca.autrey@nyu.edu, 202-753-5904

Today, the U.S. District Court for the South­ern District of Ohio announced it would not imme­di­ately inter­vene to estab­lish legis­lat­ive maps or move the state’s 2022 primary elec­tions. The federal panel has given the state a May 28 dead­line to produce a new redis­trict­ing plan that can be imple­men­ted for an August 2 primary. If state lawmakers and the Ohio Redis­trict­ing Commis­sion do not produce legal maps and adjust the elec­tion calen­dar by that time, the panel will imple­ment a set of maps that have been previ­ously rejec­ted by the Ohio Supreme Court as an uncon­sti­tu­tional gerry­mander.

“The fight for fair maps in Ohio contin­ues for 2022 and beyond. The federal court has given the Ohio Redis­trict­ing Commis­sion time to comply with orders from the Ohio Supreme Court,” said Yurij Rudensky, senior coun­sel in the Demo­cracy Program at the Bren­nan Center for Justice at NYU Law. “It’s long past time for the Commis­sion to respect the require­ments of the Ohio Consti­tu­tion and draw lawful maps. Allow­ing a federal court to dictate the outcome by imple­ment­ing uncon­sti­tu­tional maps would viol­ate the Commis­sion’s consti­tu­tional duty and the trust of Ohioans who over­whelm­ingly voted to cleanse the process of partisan abuses.”

The decision by the federal court comes on the heels of a state Supreme Court ruling last week that struck down a fourth set of maps approved by the Ohio Redis­trict­ing Commis­sion. Peti­tion­ers fight­ing the maps in state court, in Ohio Organ­iz­ing Collab­or­at­ive v. Ohio Redis­trict­ing Commis­sion, have said the fourth round of maps and previ­ous versions approved by the Commis­sion viol­ate the state consti­tu­tion’s prohib­i­tion against partisan gerry­man­der­ing.

The Bren­nan Center for Justice and Reed Smith repres­ent the peti­tion­ers in Ohio Organ­iz­ing Collab­or­at­ive v. Ohio Redis­trict­ing Commis­sion: 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 federal court’s ruling is here. More filings and back­ground on Ohio Organ­iz­ing Collab­or­at­ive v. Ohio Redis­trict­ing Commis­sion are avail­able here.

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