U.S. Supreme Court Sends Ohio Gerrymandering Case Back to Lower Court for Dismissal

October 8, 2019 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday returned a legal challenge to Ohio’s politically gerrymandered congressional districts to a lower court, which is expected to dismiss the case in light of a high court ruling in June that federal courts have no place in such disputes.

Democrats have challenged the districts, claiming the Republican-drawn district unlawfully diminished the chances that Democrats would be elected to Congress from the state.

Writing for the majority in the June 27 decision in cases from North Carolina and Maryland, Chief Justice John Roberts held partisan gerrymandering claims “present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts.”

The ruling voided a May order from a three-judge panel in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, which had ordered a reconfiguring of the state’s 16 congressional districts.

The Supreme Court has put that order on hold until it ruled in the North Carolina and Maryland cases.

Roberts’ decision did allow for partisan gerrymandering to be challenged in lawsuits based on violations of a state constitution.

A state court in North Carolina has since struck down the Republican-drawn state legislative electoral map as an unlawful example of partisan gerrymandering under the state constitution.

In Ohio, the congressional district map was challenged by the League of Women Voters and the American Civil Liberties Union, neither of whom have said whether they will now file a claim based on a violation of the state constitution.

In a statement emailed to The Well News, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose noted that a new, bipartisan procedure will govern the drawing of new Ohio congressional maps after completion of the 2020 Census.

Ohio’s voters approved the new process through a constitutional amendment adopted in May 2018.

“Just last year, Ohioans overwhelmingly approved our new system for forming congressional districts that will put an end to the partisanship of the past,” LaRose said. “Reinvigorating our republic starts with fair legislative redistricting. A faithful execution of the law by commission members will make Ohio a national leader in a movement that can transform government to better work for the people, by the people.”

In The News

Health

Voting

State News

New Caucus Aims to Bring Main Street Priorities to Capitol Hill
Congress
New Caucus Aims to Bring Main Street Priorities to Capitol Hill
April 22, 2021
by TWN Staff

Eighteen members of Congress on Wednesday announced the formation of a new Congressional Caucus whose intent is to ensure that the priorities and concerns of cities and counties across America are heard on Capitol Hill. The bipartisan Congressional Caucus of Former Local Elected Officials was formed... Read More

35 States at Extreme Risk of Partisan Gerrymandering
In The States
35 States at Extreme Risk of Partisan Gerrymandering
April 16, 2021
by TWN Staff

Thirty-five states are at extreme or high risk of partisan gerrymandering, according to an in-depth report by the nonpartisan RepresentUs organization. The Gerrymandering Threat Index rates all 50 states, and its authors argue their findings underscore the urgent need to pass the redistricting reforms within the... Read More

Plan Afoot to Extend PPP Deadline to May 31
In The News
Plan Afoot to Extend PPP Deadline to May 31

WASHINGTON - A bipartisan bill to extend the Paycheck Protection Program to May 31 is gaining support in the House and the Senate and will likely be voted on before lawmakers head back to their districts at the end of the month. The proposal to extend... Read More

Cherry Blossom Peak Bloom Date Announced
District of Columbia
Cherry Blossom Peak Bloom Date Announced
March 2, 2021
by TWN Staff

WASHINGTON - It’s hard to believe it’s almost that time of year again, but on Monday came word that the peak bloom for the cherry blossoms ringing the Tidal Basin in Washington is currently expected to occur April 2-5.  That means the most vivid of blooms... Read More

Once the Mainstream Model, Michigan GOP Embraces Right Wing
In The States
Once the Mainstream Model, Michigan GOP Embraces Right Wing

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Josh Venable, a longtime Michigan GOP operative and chief of staff to former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, can trace the arc of the state's Republican Party clearly."This was the state where to be Republican was defined by Gerald Ford and George... Read More

What NY Prosecutors Could Learn from Trump's Tax Records
In The States
What NY Prosecutors Could Learn from Trump's Tax Records

NEW YORK (AP) — Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. fought for a year and a half to get access to former President Donald Trump's tax records.Now, thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, he will soon have them. But what will that mean for... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top