By Deba Uwadiae
The Ohio State Supreme Court has ruled that the new maps for Ohio House and Senate districts must be re-drawn because the current maps do not meet voter-approved provisions of the Ohio Constitution in League of Women Voters of Ohio v. Ohio Redistricting Commission.
The Court declared invalid the General Assembly-district plan in a 4-3 ruling while giving the Commission 10 days to adopt a new plan within 10days.
“Pursuant to Article XI, Section 9(B), the Ohio Redistricting Commission shall be reconstituted under Article XI, Section 1, to convene and to ascertain and adopt a General Assembly-district plan in conformity with the Ohio Constitution,” the Court said.
“The commission shall adopt a new plan within 10 days. This court retains jurisdiction for the purpose of reviewing the new plan adopted by the commission. Petitioners shall file any objections to the new plan within three days of the plan’s adoption.”
The Supreme Court ruling were by Donnelly and Stewart, JJ., concur; O’Connor, C.J., concurs, with an opinion joined by Brunner, J and Brunner, J., concurs, with an opinion.
While Kennedy, J., dissents, with an opinion joined by DeWine, J and Fischer, J., dissents, with an opinion.
Reacting to the judgment, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said, ““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.”
Also, reacting to the judgement of the Ohio Supreme Court Ruling on State Legislative Maps from Akron, state Senator Vernon Sykes (D-Akron), who served as co-chair of the Ohio Redistricting Commission, and state Representative Emilia Sykes (D- Akron), who also served on the Ohio Redistricting Commission, said, “The court’s ruling today confirmed what Democrats have been saying all along: the gerrymandered maps created by the majority are unfair, unrepresentative and unconstitutional.”
“Our hope is that the Commission can now get back to work and draw new, 10-year maps that better reflect what voters have demanded: fair districts created through a bipartisan, transparent process. It’s time we give Ohioans the fair maps they deserve.”
The Ohio Redistricting Commission comprises seven members including Governor Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Frank LaRose, State Auditor Keith Feber and one individual appointed by the Senate President, one individual appointed by the Speaker of the House, one individual appointed the Senate Minority Leader and one individual appointed by the House Minority Leader.