WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, a lawsuit was filed challenging Ohio’s new congressional map, which was signed by Gov. Mike DeWine (R) on Saturday. The suit, filed on behalf of a group of Ohio voters, challenges the new map for being a partisan gerrymander that favors Republicans and violates multiple provisions of the Ohio Constitution. This is the first lawsuit filed against the congressional map; three lawsuits challenging the new state Senate and House maps are currently being litigated before the Supreme Court of Ohio.
The suit alleges that the map, which will only be in place for four years because it was passed by a simple majority of the General Assembly without bipartisan support, violates a state constitutional amendment adopted by voters in 2018 that bans partisan gerrymandering in congressional redistricting and establishes redistricting criteria. First, the complaint argues that the map “unduly favors Republicans by running roughshod over communities of interest and carefully splitting political subdivisions to dilute the votes of Democrats and Black communities.” The complaint points out that the map is predicted to hand Republicans at least 12 out of 15 congressional districts — 80% of seats — despite the fact that, “considering statewide elections from 2016 to 2020, Republicans receive around 53% of the votes on average.” The suit also alleges that the new congressional map violates the Ohio Constitution’s provision that a simple-majority map “shall not unduly split governmental units” because it “splits counties unnecessarily for the patently transparent purpose of minimizing Democratic voting power—particularly that of Black voters.” The lawsuit asks the court to declare the new congressional map invalid and block its use for future elections.