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ACLU, voter groups sue in Ohio over new legislative maps

The litigation filed Thursday is believed to be the first in the nation against district maps drawn under the 2020 census.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A new lawsuit challenges Ohio’s newly drawn state legislative districts as giving an extreme and unfair advantage to the Republican Party.

The litigation filed Thursday is believed to be the first in the nation against district maps drawn under the 2020 census.

An ACLU-led legal team filed the suit on behalf of voters and voter-rights groups, including the League of Women Voters of Ohio.

It targets a map the new Republican-dominated Ohio Redistricting Commission passed along party lines last week.

It's predicted to continue to deliver supermajorities to the GOP.

The partisan vote meant the map would last only four years, rather than 10.

Republican Senate President Matt Huffman said it would likely yield 62 Republican seats in the 99-seat Ohio House and 23 Republican seats in the 33-seat Ohio Senate. 

Freda Levenson, legal director of the ACLU of Ohio, called that an “extreme partisan gerrymander” that flagrantly violates the redistricting rules laid out in the Ohio Constitution, after approval by a strong majority of Ohio voters. 

Under Ohio’s new redistricting system, the Ohio Supreme Court has original and exclusive jurisdiction over legal disputes over the map.

Gov. DeWine's office declined to comment, saying they are reviewing the litigation.