Jan 14, 2022 - Politics

Ohio Supreme Court strikes down GOP-drawn congressional map

A map of Ohio congressional districts invalidated by the state supreme court.
This Ohio congressional district map was invalidated by the state supreme court. Photo courtesy of state legislature

The Ohio Supreme Court has once again struck down a Republican-drawn legislative map for gerrymandering, this time for congressional districts.

Why it matters: Friday's decision invalidates a congressional map approved by Republican lawmakers last November.

  • The ruling was 4-3, with Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor — a Republican — siding with the court's three Democrats in finding the map unconstitutional.

State of play: The court found the map "unduly favors" Republican candidates in part by gerrymandering certain counties into separate districts to benefit the GOP.

  • Analysis showed the map could have given Republicans up to a 13-2 advantage, or 87% of the seats in play, despite winning 56% of the statewide vote in recent election cycles.

What's next: State lawmakers are ordered to draw a new map.

  • The map needs bipartisan support to be in effect for a full 10 years.
  • Otherwise, with only support from the Republicans, it will be in place for four years.

The big picture: Ohio Republicans tried, but failed, to achieve state and federal legislative maps that would give their party an advantage in the years to come.

  • Checks and balances set up in the 2015 and 2018 redistricting reforms passed by voters prevented this from happening.
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