Challenge filed to fourth set of Ohio House, Senate maps approved Monday
As expected, voting advocates who have opposed the three previous sets of legislative maps have asked the Ohio Supreme Court to invalidate this fourth set.
As expected, the fourth set of House and Senate maps approved by four Republicans on the seven member Ohio Redistricting Commission is being challenged by the voter advocacy groups that have protested the first three. Those legislative races will not be on the May primary ballot, and so far there are no plans to set that second primary.
The groups say the fourth set of legislative maps is nearly identical to the third set, which the Ohio Supreme Court has already struck down as unconstitutionally gerrymandered.
The four Republicans made some tweaks to the third set of maps and approved them on Monday, scrapping the plans that outside mapmakers hired for nearly $100,000 had worked up. House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) said those mapmakers weren’t able to produce a recommended set of maps by Monday’s deadline.
House @SpeakerCupp explains why Republicans on the Ohio Redistricting Commission tweaked House and Senate maps that were ruled unconstitutional instead of using those created by hired mapmakers. @Russo4Ohio says she thinks there's another reason why they made that choice. pic.twitter.com/zAsJ8e2QTr— "The State Of Ohio" PBS News Program (@stateofohioshow) March 29, 2022
The groups say the Ohio Supreme Court should order new maps by April 20, which is the date a panel of three federal judges is watching in a case where a group of Republican voters has asked the federal court to take action. And the Ohio Organizing Collaborative asks the court to implement the outside mapmakers’ maps and hold the redistricting commission members who voted for these fourth maps in contempt.
In February, Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor had ordered the Ohio Redistricting Commission to explain why they shouldn't be held in contempt. While they all responded, O'Connor's fellow Republican Justice Sharon Kennedy dissented, saying O'Connor didn't have the authority to order a contempt hearing without a majority of the six other justices agreeing to that. That hearing wasn't held.