Ohio Supreme Court strikes down new congressional map for illegally favoring GOP

On Friday, the Ohio Supreme Court struck down the state’s newly drawn congressional map for illegally favoring Republicans.

The court also ordered that new lines be drawn, which is a decision that could significantly impact the battle for control of Congress in the upcoming midterm elections.

Electoral analysts said the Republican-endorsed map would essentially ensure the party secured at least 13, and maybe even 13, of the state’s total 15 congressional seats. The map would accomplish such a heavy-handed victory by splitting Cincinnati’s county into more than one district in order to dilute the Democratic voting power in that location.

The state’s high court determined the maps were unfair in a 4-3 decision. The court said the maps violated new provisions in the state’s constitution that had been approved by voters in 2018, which included language prohibiting any map that “favors or disfavors a political party or its incumbents.”

Justice Michael Donnelly wrote for the majority, “When the dealer stacks the deck in advance, the house usually wins.” He continued, “That perhaps explains how a party that generally musters no more than 55 percent of the statewide popular vote is positioned to reliably win anywhere from 75 percent to 80 percent of the seats in the Ohio congressional delegation.” 

U.S. law requires that states redraw congressional maps every decade according to the census results. In most states, legislatures oversee the drawing process, which typically leads to gerrymandering, the practice of purposefully creating maps for partisan advantage.

Currently more than a dozen lawsuits are pending that seek to challenge congressional maps in several states. A three-judge panel in North Carolina rejected Democratic claims that the state’s new map favored Republicans. 




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