Lawsuit filed on behalf of a group of Ohio voters challenging the state’s new congressional map drawn with 2020 census data. The plaintiffs allege that the map is an extreme partisan gerrymander that favors Republicans and ignores redistricting criteria in violation of the Ohio Constitution. Specifically, the complaint alleges that the map drawers diluted the voting power of Democrats to hand Republicans at least 12 out of 15 congressional seats, despite the fact that the state’s voting history is nearly divided among the two parties, and unnecessarily split up counties and other governmental units to do so. The lawsuit asks the court to declare the new congressional map invalid and block its use for future elections. After an oral argument was held, the court held in a 4-3 opinion that the new congressional map was a partisan gerrymander that “unduly” favored Republicans in violation of the state constitution. The court ordered the Legislature to redraw the entire map within 30 days of its decision.
After the Legislature failed to pass a second map, the Ohio Redistricting Commission passed a new map on March 2. The petitioners sought to challenge the second map, which they alleged is a similar configuration to the first map that was struck down and is therefore unconstitutional. The court rejected this challenge, noting that it “entered final judgment in this case on January 14, 2022 and did not retain jurisdiction to review any plan passed or adopted under Article XIX, Section 3(A) or 3(B) of the Ohio Constitution.”