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Ohio Supreme Court says GOP redistricting officials can be questioned

Daniel Konik
Statehouse News Bureau

Three lawsuits accuse the redistricting commissioners of approving unconstitutionally gerrymandered district maps.

The five Republican officials on the Ohio Redistricting Commission must face deposition for three Ohio Supreme Court cases.

The lawsuits are challenging the maps that were drawn to retain a Republican supermajority in both chambers.

Lawyers involved in the three Ohio Supreme Court cases will have two hours of deposition with each Republican member of the Ohio Redistricting Commission. Those five members are Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio), Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R-Ohio), Auditor Keith Faber (R-Ohio), House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima), and Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima).

Huffman was asked to talk about the request by the plaintiffs but said since it's pending litigation, "we're not really supposed to talk about it publicly until our lawyers say it's ok to do that."

The depositions must happen by October 12, then the parties can file their evidence by the end of the month with oral arguments beginning in December.

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Pat DeWine joined the ruling but added that he would have wanted the depositions deadline moved to October 15. Justice Pat DeWine says he will not recuse himself from the redistricting cases even though his father, Gov. Mike DeWine, was one of the five votes on the commission to approve the maps.

Republicans are accused of drawing unconstitutional maps that ignore the statewide political breakdown of Ohio voters, which has split an average of 54% Republican and 46% Democratic over the past 10 years.

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