State of Ohio

Ohio Congressional Redistricting Challenge (Simon)

Simon v. DeWine

Lawsuit filed by Black voters against Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R), Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) and three other members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission (ORC) challenging the new Ohio congressional map. In March 2022, the ORC enacted a new congressional district plan after the Ohio Supreme Court struck down the state’s first map passed by the state Legislature for unduly favoring the Republican Party. The plaintiffs claim that the commission gave specific instructions to their staff responsible for drawing the map to disregard any racial considerations when configuring the new districts. 

The plaintiffs argue that the 6th Congressional District — stretching 164 miles and including 10 Ohio counties — in the commission’s new map dilutes Black voting strength in Mahoning Valley, which includes the Northeastern cities of Warren and Youngstown as well as the Eastern suburbs of Cleveland. The plaintiffs claim that the map violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and the First, 14th and 15th Amendments and ask the court to invalidate the new congressional map. The plaintiffs also ask the court to not allow the commission or the Legislature to draw a new map, but to instead appoint a “Special Master” to craft new congressional districts in compliance with the VRA and Ohio law.

On Oct. 12, 2023, the court denied the plaintiffs’ motion to convene a three-judge panel and granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss. On Nov. 8, the plaintiffs appealed to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. 

On April 9, 2024, the 6th Circuit reversed the district court’s decisions and remanded the case back to the district court where litigation is ongoing. 

STATUS: One motion is in progress in the district court. Litigation is ongoing.

Case Documents

Case Documents (6th Circuit)

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