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Government & Politics

Federal Court Ruling Calls for New Congressional District Map by Mid-June

Map of Ohio congressional districts

The U.S. District Court in Cincinnati has ruled that Ohio’s congressional district map is unconstitutional. The court has ordered Ohio lawmakers to draw a constitutional map by June 14. If that doesn’t happen, the court will appoint a special master to do it, so a new map would be in place for the 2020 election. 

Freda Levenson with the ACLU of Ohio said her group has been fighting against the map since 2011.

“Every single word of this 300-page plus opinion is entirely validating,” Levenson said.

Jen Miller with the Ohio League of Women Voters agreed. She would like for this ruling to have come years ago but is happy it has come in time for the 2020 election.

“What’s different is in the past year or two, there’s new legal methodologies, new statistical methodologies to prove partisan gerrymandering that courts are considering,”  Miller said.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost plans to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. In a statement he said, "This protracted opinion...is a fundamentally political act that has no basis whatsoever in the Constitution." 

Ohio's Congressional map based on the 2010 Census
In their opinion the judges wrote that when forming the districts on this map, "The map drawers focused on several key areas of the Ohio map where careful map design could eke out additional safe Republican seats."