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Ohio v. Coggins

The State of Ohio filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Commerce Department and the U.S. Census Bureau, challenging the Bureau’s announcement that it will be delivering redistricting data to all states by September 30, 2021.

Last Updated: August 17, 2021
Published: March 4, 2021

Summary

The State of Ohio filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Commerce Depart­ment and the U.S. Census Bureau, chal­len­ging the Bureau’s announce­ment that it will be deliv­er­ing redis­trict­ing data to all states by Septem­ber 30, 2021. 

Case Back­ground

Ohio chal­lenged the Census Bureau’s Febru­ary 12, 2021 announce­ment that, due to Covid-19 related disrup­tions to the 2020 Census, the Bureau will be deliv­er­ing redis­trict­ing data to the states by Septem­ber 30, 2021. The state conten­ded that this delay would prevent Ohio from complet­ing its redis­trict­ing process by the state’s consti­tu­tion­ally prescribed dead­line. The suit argued that the state would be “irre­par­ably harmed” by the Census Bureau’s decision to delay the release of the redis­trict­ing data because the Ohio Redis­trict­ing Commis­sion and the General Assembly would be forced to use altern­at­ive data or miss state dead­lines. The suit further alleged that the Census Bureau’s decision is “arbit­rary and capri­cious” in viol­a­tion of the Admin­is­trat­ive Proced­ure Act because the Bureau did not adequately consider how the delayed release would affect states with vari­ous dead­lines.

Ohio asked the court to declare that the Census Bureau’s announce­ment viol­ated the federal Census Act and Admin­is­trat­ive Proced­ure Act. The state also asked the court to require the Bureau to release redis­trict­ing data by March 31, 2021, or at the earli­est date the court may find to be equit­able. 

On March 24, 2021, the court dismissed this case for lack of juris­dic­tion. The plaintiffs filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. 

On May 18, 2021, the Sixth Circuit concluded that Ohio has stand­ing and remanded the case to the district court. 

On May 25, 2021 the court gran­ted to hold the case in abey­ance. The Census Bureau provided Ohio with its redis­trict­ing data, in a legacy format, on August 12, 2021. 

On August 13, 2021, Ohio moved to volun­tar­ily dismiss, without preju­dice, this case. 


Key Docu­ments

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (Case No. 21–3294, OH v. Gina Raimondo, et al)