A showdown is in the offing as the fight over Ohio’s state Senate and House district maps continues. To date, the Ohio Redistricting Commission’s maps have been rejected four times by the Ohio Supreme Court – all by 4 to 3 decisions with Chief Justice Maureen O’Conner siding with the three Democratic justices – due to being unconstitutional. The court has now set the next deadline for new maps to be submitted by Friday, May 6, 2022.
Once again – and for the fourth time, the Ohio Supreme Court has rejected the state House and Senate maps drawn by the Ohio Republicans. The fourth version were simply tweaks by the GOP mapmakers of maps previously rejected by the court. Thus, mapmakers are being sent back to the drawing board. The court has set a new deadline for new maps to be finished by 9:00am on Friday, May 6, 2022. And once again, the court’s decision was 4-3 with Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor siding with the three Democratic justices.
Common Cause Ohio and Fair Districts have provided excellent explanations on the redistricting process and where Ohio is at – for the moment. It is very complicated, confusing and going to be very expensive by the time Ohioans have the opportunity to hold a primary. This is wasteful – potentially costing Ohioans up to $20 million, very confusing and unnecessary. This entire fiasco is due to the the GOP Redistricting Commission members repeatedly drawing unconstitutional maps and and the state legislators refusing to move the primary date.
Late tonight, the Ohio Supreme Court struck down the third set of state House and Senate maps late Wednesday, effectively ending any hope of a May 3rd primary with both legislative and statewide races. In addition, the court made a few suggestions on how the Ohio Redistricting Commission on how it could be more transparent during the next round of mapmaking and rebuked State Senate President Matt Huffman (R).
Since the Ohio Redistricting Commission did not submit constitutional state House and state Senate maps by the February 17th deadline mandated by the Ohio Supreme Court, Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor (R) the following day – Friday, February 18th – issued an Order that each of the members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission show up in person in front of the court on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, to explain why each of the members should not be held in contempt of court for missing the court’s deadline.