Ohio Republican Redistricting Commissioners to Hight Court
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A frustrated Ohio Supreme Court rejected Republican-drawn Statehouse maps for a fifth time Wednesday, extending the string of GOP defeats in a redistricting process that has ground the state’s legislative primaries to a halt.
Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor was clearly angered by the Republican-dominated Ohio Redistricting Commission’s decision to resubmit maps that the high court found unconstitutional once before, calling it “a stunning rebuke of the rule of law.” Still, the court denied a request by voting rights and Democratic groups to hold commissioners in contempt, concluding, as it has before, that it has no power under the law to do so.
The court ordered the seven-member panel to reconvene and pass “entirely new” maps that meet constitutional requirements by June 3. Ohio’s map fight comes amid the once-per-decade political mapmaking process that all states must undertake to reflect population changes from the U.S. Census.
The maps rejected by the court Wednesday by a 4-3 vote was identical to the third maps it ruled unconstitutional March 16.
Republicans had little incentive to approve new maps as a three-member federal judicial panel said if the commission and court couldn’t agree on new ones by Saturday, it would impose the third maps for this year’s election.
The Youngstow Vindicator