COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The Ohio Supreme Court has declared the newly drawn district maps Invalid, and ordered that they be redrawn within 10 days. The current maps would have Republican supermajorities in both chambers of the state Legislature.
Wednesday’s two-paragraph entry by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor is considered a victory by Democrats and voting-rights groups who had challenged the lines as unconstitutionally gerrymandered.
O’Connor’s order puts the bipartisan Ohio Redistricting Commission in charge of the new maps. The panel, created by voters in 2015, had disbanded after it was unable to strike a bipartisan compromise. O’Connor ordered the panel to try again.
Nan Whaley, former Dayton Mayor and Democratic Gubernatorial candidate, issued the following statement:
More than 70% of Ohioans voted to end gerrymandering and a bipartisan majority on the Ohio Supreme Court just listened to them. Let’s hope Governor DeWine has the courage to do what is right this time and support fair, constitutional maps.Nan Whaley
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine also issued a statement following the decision:
Throughout this process, I expected that Ohio’s legislative maps would be litigated and that the Ohio Supreme Court would make a decision on their constitutionality. I will work with my fellow Redistricting Commission members on revised maps that are consistent with the Court’s order.Gov. Mike DeWine
Written with contributions from The Associated Press.