COLUMBUS, Ohio — For a second time, the Supreme Court of Ohio has ruled proposed House and Senate district maps as unconstitutional and must be redrawn.
In a 4-3 decision, the court ordered the Ohio Redistricting Commission to adopt a new plan and file it with the Ohio Secretary of State’s office by Feb. 17.
This marks the second time that the court has found that maps adopted by the commission do not meet voter-approved provisions of the state constitution to reduce gerrymandering.
The court says the maps continue to favor the Republican Party and are not proportionate to statewide voter preferences.
In January, the court rejected maps from the commission that favored Republicans in at least 62 of the 99 House districts and 23 of the 33 Senate districts.
In the first ruling, the court noted: “all parties agreed that in statewide partisan elections over the past decade, Republican candidates had won 54 percent of the vote share and Democratic candidates had won 46 percent of the vote share.”
The new maps favor Republicans in the House 57-42 and in the Senate 20-13, according to the commission.
“The revised plan does not attempt to closely correspond to that constitutionally defined ratio. Our instruction to the commission is—simply—to comply with the Constitution,” the opinion stated.
Last month, the court also ruled the commission's new map of the state’s 15 congressional districts as gerrymandered.
Statement from Ohio Democratic Party:
“Third time’s the charm. The Ohio Supreme Court once again rejected GOP attempts to gerrymander our state and disenfranchise Ohio voters. The Ohio Supreme Court cannot be more clear: Republicans must produce fair maps that accurately reflect our state, not the Ohio GOP’s political wishlist. Republicans have delayed this process too long already, it’s past time for them to finally do their jobs and give Ohioans what they deserve: fair representation and a state government that reflects the wishes of Ohio voters, not the wishes of extreme Republicans and the special interests they’re bought by.”