Third Lawsuit Filed Challenging Ohio’s New General Assembly Maps
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, a third lawsuit was filed in the Supreme Court of Ohio challenging the state’s newly-passed state House and Senate maps. The complaint, filed on behalf of the Ohio Organizing Collaborative, the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Ohio, the Ohio Environmental Counsel and six voters, argues that the new maps are “severe” partisan gerrymanders that entrench Republican supermajorities in both chambers of the General Assembly in violation of the Ohio Constitution.
The suit, similar to the two previous suits, argues that the proposed maps have “the effect of favoring and giving disproportionate political power and control over the future of Ohio to one political party and its members” given that Republicans’ projected share of districts under the new maps is significantly higher than the percentage of the statewide vote over the last decade. Along with diluting the voting power of Democrats, the complaint suggests that these maps intentionally weaken the influence of the state’s growing Black and Muslim communities who, “because of Ohio’s political geography, are among the communities that bear the brunt of the enacted partisan gerrymander and are burdened in effectively organizing and having their voices heard by elected leaders.” The suit points out that Ohio voters overwhelmingly adopted an amendment in 2015 that bans partisan gerrymandering in response to Republicans’ manipulation of maps in the last round of redistricting, yet Republicans ignored the will of Ohio voters during the recent redistricting process to protect their majorities in the state Legislature. The parties ask that the state Supreme Court block the new maps from going into effect and order the creation of new maps.