COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court on Monday rejected a second set of Ohio Statehouse district maps that retained strong Republican majorities as gerrymandered — and sent them back for a third try.
In yet another 4-3 ruling, the high court found the bipartisan Ohio Redistricting Commission’s second attempt at drawing the maps had again failed to pass constitutional muster. No Democrats supported either plan.
Moderate Republican Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, who at 70 years old must leave the court Dec. 31 due to age limits, again provided a pivotal swing vote, joining the court’s three Democrats.
In another victory for voting rights and Democratic groups, the court gave the redistricting commission 10 days — until Feb. 17 — to pass a constitutional map. How that will go remains unclear. The Republican-dominated panel has failed twice already to reach bipartisan consensus despite the looming legal threats.