With being charged to draw new state House and Senate maps, the Ohio Redistricting Commission adjourned its meeting Thursday evening without meeting a deadline to submit a third set of maps by the Ohio Supreme Court.
The court has twice struck down maps created by the commission saying they were unconstitutionally gerrymandered and favored Republicans. Republicans on the commission – Governor Mike DeWine, Auditor Keith Faber, Secretary of State Frank LaRose, State House Speaker Bob Cupp and State Senate President Matt Huffman – rejected maps that were constitution and drawn by the Democratic members – State House Minority Leader Allison Russo and State Senator Dr. Vernon Sykes (and Co-Chair of the commission).
The Republican members of the commission declared the commission had reached an impasse Thursday and said they could not come up with maps that would be deemed constitutional. The meeting was adjourned with no maps being submitted to the Ohio Supreme Court before the deadline imposed by the court of Monday, February 7th.
Then in a complete surprise, later Friday afternoon, February 18th, Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor issued an Order requiring the members of the commission to explain why they should not be held in contempt of court for not adopting state legislative maps as ordered by the court. The commission must file their explanations by 12noon Wednesday, February 23rd.
To further the drama of the Ohio redistricting process, a federal case was filed on Friday, February 18th attempting to reinstate the state legislative maps that were struck down by the court. On February 20th, the ACLU Ohio filed a motion requesting to be allowed to intervene in the case.
- Ohio Redistricting Commission must explain by Wednesday why they can’t pass new maps | WOSU | 2.21.2022
- Ohio Supreme Court to redistricting commission: Why shouldn’t we hold you in contempt? | Ohio Capital Journal | 2.19.2022
- Facing deadline, Ohio Redistricting Commission fails to draft new House, Senate maps | ABC6onyourside.com | 2.17.2022
- Gerrymandering leads to extreme laws most Ohioans don’t want | Ohio Capital Journal | 2.15.2022