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Ohio Supreme Court strikes down congressional map currently in use for 2022 election

 Congressional map adopted by the Ohio Redistricting Commission on March 2, 2022 by a 5 to 2 vote.
Ohio Redistricting Commission
This Congressional map was adopted by the Ohio Redistricting Commission March 2 by a 5 to 2 vote.

A split Ohio Supreme Court has struck down the 15-district congressional map that was used for the May primary and will be in place for the November general election.

In a 42-page ruling, the majority said the second attempt at a congressional map passed by Republicans on the Ohio Redistricting Commission in March "unduly favors the Republican Party and disfavors the Democratic Party." The court ordered a new map within 30 days. The first map was rejected in January.

The split among the justices was as it's been throughout the redistricting saga. Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor, a Republican, joined the court's three Democrats: Jennifer Brunner, Melody Stewart and Michael Donnelly. The court's three other Republicans — Sharon Kennedy, Pat DeWine and Pat Fischer — dissented.

The decision said the map "creates just three seats with Democratic vote shares over 52 percent (and one of those is at 52.15 percent). By contrast, all the Republican-leaning seats comfortably favor Republican candidates."

The Republican members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission approved the map on March 2 by a vote of 5 to 2. Secretary of State Frank LaRose was among the commissioners who voted "yes" on the map.

Rob Nichols, spokesperson for LaRose, said, "Obviously, we’ve received the court’s ruling and our legal team is currently reviewing it.”

The groups that have challenged the Ohio House and Senate maps also challenged the congressional maps. But because filing deadlines for the case were in late May, this second map would be used for the 2022 election unless a federal court ruled otherwise. That led the League of Women Voters to drop their suit against the map for the 2022 election and push their challenge for the next congressional election in 2024.

This story will be updated.
Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Updated: July 19, 2022 at 1:48 PM EDT
Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.