Ohio Supreme Court invalidates revised state House and Senate maps


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On February 7, 2022, the Ohio Supreme Court invalidated the state House and Senate district boundaries that were recently adopted by the Ohio Redistricting Commission. The majority, in a per curiam decision, ruled that the commission’s revised maps still favored Republican candidates instead of adhering to the proportionality favored by statewide voter preferences of 54 percent Republican and 46 percent Democratic. Analysis showed the revised maps created 57-42 and 20-13 Republican majorities in the House and Senate respectively.

The court, citing the pressure on the Secretary of State and County Boards of Elections created by the commission’s failure to adopt compliant maps, noted that the General Assembly possesses the power to move the primary election date, currently scheduled for May 3, 2022.

The court ordered the Ohio Redistricting Commission to reconvene and pass revised maps by February 17, 2022. Republican Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor joined the court’s three Democratic justices for another 4-3 decision.

The General Assembly already faces a February 13, 2022 deadline for adopting revised Congressional district maps. Legislation implementing Congressional districts must be passed with an emergency clause, which requires a two-thirds majority to pass (requiring a bipartisan vote in the House), because the March 3, 2022 deadline for filing declarations of candidacy falls within the normal 90 day period before legislation takes effect.

If the General Assembly fails to adopt a Congressional map by February 13, 2022, the commission has 30 days to adopt revised Congressional districts.

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