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Federal Judge Dismisses Ohio's Lawsuit to Force Release of Census Data

2020 Census questionnaire
Dan Konik
Statehouse News Bureau
Ohio had hoped to redraw Congressional maps after the 2020 Census results were released, but a federal judge has dismissed the state's lawsuit that sought to force the results to be released by the end of the month.

A federal judge has dismissed Republican Attorney General Dave Yost’s lawsuit against the Biden administration to force the results of last year’s Census to be released by the end of this month. Ohio had hoped to start drawing new legislative and Congressional maps soon, for the first time under a process approved by voters.

But the legal battle isn’t over.

Congressional maps are redrawn after a census, and the Census Bureau said its data won’t be available till September. Yost sued to return to the March 31 legal deadline.

But Southern District of Ohio Judge Thomas Rose writes that there won’t be a decision on whether Ohio will have 16 or 15 representatives in Congress till later in the year.

Rose notes that the Ohio constitution has other ways to draw maps without census data, and that the state not having a flexible map-drawing schedule because of the pandemic is not the administration’s problem. And finally, he writes that the state’s frustration in not having the data isn’t concrete harm, so Ohio doesn’t have standing to sue.

The Attorney General’s office has appealed the ruling.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Karen Kasler
Contact Karen at 614/578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.