COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The Ohio Supreme Court has declared newly drawn district maps that would have retained Republican supermajorities in both chambers of the state Legislature invalid and ordered them redrawn within 10 days.
Wednesday’s two-paragraph entry by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor is a victory of Democrats and voting-rights groups who had challenged the lines as unconstitutionally gerrymandered.
O’Connor’s order gives power over the new maps to the bipartisan Ohio Redistricting Commission. The panel created by voters in 2015 was unable to strike bipartisan compromise earlier and had disbanded. O’Connor ordered the panel to try again.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine had the following to say about the decision:
“Throughout this process, I expected that Ohio’s legislative maps would be litigated and that the Ohio Supreme Court would make a decision on their constitutionality. I will work with my fellow Redistricting Commission members on revised maps that are consistent with the Court’s order.”