Source: OhioHealth Government Relations Newsletter May 2022
The Ohio Redistricting Commission again failed to approve new state legislative maps, as ordered by the Ohio Supreme Court.
Republicans on the Ohio Redistricting Commission voted on May 5 to re-submit a state legislative plan that the Ohio Supreme Court already has rejected as illegally gerrymandered in favor of the GOP.
The commission voted 4-3 to re-submit the map, which was approved on February 24 and then rejected by the Ohio Supreme Court in March.
The consequence of the Commission’s most recent action means that the Ohio Supreme Court will have to decide whether to find the commission in contempt of court – something it has previously declined to do – or if it will allow Republicans on the commission to run the clock until Saturday, May 28, when a federal court has said it will order the February 24 map to be implemented for a special election on Tuesday, August 2.
For context, it is important to know that the Court previously has struck down four sets of legislative maps, citing the new anti-gerrymandering standards voters added to the state constitution in 2015. In each ruling, Republican Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor joined the court’s three Democrats in forming the 4-3 majority.
In each case, the justices cited language that says the maps cannot be drawn to favor a party, and that directs the districts to favor each party to win seats in proportion to their share of the recent statewide vote.