Ohio Supreme Court orders Redistricting Commission to draw new state House and Senate district boundaries


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On January 12, 2022, the Ohio Supreme Court, by a vote of 4-3, found the newly drawn state House and Senate district maps did not comply with Ohio’s Constitution, specifically Article XI, Section 6, which states that no plan shall be drawn primarily to favor a political party. The court determined the Ohio Redistricting Commission did not attempt to meet the standard. Therefore, the court ordered the commission to meet and draw new maps that conform with the requirements within 10 days of the court’s decision.

The Redistricting Commission members include Republicans Governor Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Frank LaRose, Auditor of State Keith Faber, Senate President Matt Huffman, House Speaker Bob Cupp, and Democrats House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes and Senator Vernon Sykes. The commission adopted the previous map by a vote of 5-2, with Leader Sykes and Senator Sykes voting no.

Justice Melody Stewart (D-Cleveland) wrote the majority opinion. Republican Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor joined with Justice Stewart, Justice Michael Donnelly (D-Cleveland)and Justice Jennifer Brunner (D-Columbus) in the 4-3 majority opinion. Chief Justice O’Connor and Justice Brunner wrote separate concurrences. Justice Sharon Kennedy (R-Liberty Township) wrote the dissenting opinion joined by Justice Patrick DeWine (R-Cincinnati) and Justice Patrick Fischer (R-Cincinnati). Justice Fischer also wrote a separate dissent.

Candidate petitions for the General Assembly are due February 2, 2022. If the district boundaries are still unsettled, the legislature may act and postpone the deadline. The primary election is May 3, 2022.

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