WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, a group of Republican Ohio voters filed a federal lawsuit regarding the state’s failure to adopt new legislative districts based on 2020 census data. The lawsuit comes after the Ohio Redistricting Commission reached an impasse yesterday, Feb. 17, when they failed to agree on new legislative districts to comply with the Supreme Court of Ohio’s deadline. The Commission had been ordered to redraw the legislative maps a third time after the first two iterations were rejected by the state Supreme Court for being partisan gerrymanders that violate the Ohio Constitution.
In the lawsuit filed today, the plaintiffs argue that the current legislative districts are malapportioned because they are based on 2010 rather than 2020 census data and the federal court must step in to ensure that new districts are in place for the 2022 election cycle. The complaint alleges that “without new districts, Plaintiffs are cut out of the political process” and they are “deprived” of the “opportunity to run for office, educate themselves about candidates, support candidates, and associate with like-minded voters, among other things.” The complaint, which is accompanied by a motion for a preliminary injunction, asks the court to declare the current legislative districts unconstitutional and adopt the second plan submitted by the Commission (which the state Supreme Court struck down for being an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander that favors Republicans).