Lawsuit Filed Over Ohio’s New General Assembly Maps
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, a lawsuit was filed in the Supreme Court of Ohio challenging the state’s newly-drawn state Senate and House maps for being extreme partisan gerrymanders in favor of the Republican party. The complaint, filed on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Ohio, A. Philip Randolph Institute of Ohio and several individuals, argues that the new maps are drawn to lock in Republican veto-proof supermajorities in both chambers of the General Assembly. The maps, which were passed last week on a party-line vote, give Republicans in the state a projected 67% of House and 69% of Senate districts, despite the fact that “Republicans have received between 46.2% and 59.7% of the statewide vote” in Ohio over the past decade, according to the complaint.
The complaint alleges that these new maps are a partisan gerrymander that violate both the will of Buckeye voters and a state constitutional amendment adopted by voters in 2015 that bans partisan gerrymandering. The parties ask the state Supreme Court to declare the new maps invalid and order the creation of fair maps. While the U.S. Supreme Court held in Rucho v. Common Cause that partisan gerrymandering claims are beyond the reach of federal courts, the complaint points out that the Court “has also acknowledged that it is the providence of state courts to address the scourge of partisan gerrymandering.”