(7-20-22) With the Ohio Special election taking place in just a few days, the Ohio Supreme Court has again voted to turn down the latest redistricting maps submitted. The maps are used to create voting districts for State House of Representatives and Senate seats.
In a 4-3 decision, the Ohio Supreme Court majority ruled that the revised plan is similar to the one passed by the legislature in 2021 and ruled unconstitutional by the Court in January 2022. Today’s per curiam opinion stated the latest map, drafted by the Ohio Redistricting Commission, violated provisions of Article XIX of the Ohio Constitution because it “unduly favors” the Republican Party.
The Court stated that the opponents to the new map proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the district plan ensures a reliable Republican partisan advantage that was not warranted by the neutral redistricting criteria added to the state constitution by voters in 2018.
Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and Justices Michael P. Donnelly, Melody Stewart, and Jennifer Brunner joined the majority opinion.
Justices Sharon L. Kennedy, Patrick F. Fischer, and R. Patrick DeWine dissented, stating that commission’s plan met the constitutional requirements by attempting to “maximize competitive districts” that did not favor one party over another.