gerrymandering

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected challenges against two congressional maps in Maryland and North Carolina on Thursday, deciding that questions of partisan gerrymandering are outside the scope of courts.

Their decision likely spells the end for a similar challenge out of Ohio, whose congressional maps were ruled an "unconstitutional partisan gerrymander" by a lower court.

Photo of Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper
JO INGLES / OHIO PUBLIC RADIO

The clock is ticking toward the deadline for Ohio lawmakers to redraw a new congressional district map that can be used for the 2020 election. A federal court has given the state until June 14th to do that, but Republican Attorney General Dave Yost’s office is appealing the decision.

Last week, when a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for Southern Ohio found the congressional district map Ohio has been using since 2012 to be unconstitutional and rigged in favor of the Republicans, there was a disparate range of emotions from one end of the political spectrum to the other.

A federal court has ruled that Ohio's congressional map is an "unconstitutional partisan gerrymander" and must be redrawn before the 2020 election.

An image of Ohio’s congressional district map.
DANIEL KONIK / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The state of Ohio is preparing to deliver its defense of the current Congressional district map in federal court. Plaintiffs say the map is unconstitutional because Republicans drew the map to favor their party, through what’s known as partisan gerrymandering.

The ACLU of Ohio, League of Women Voters, and other voter rights groups say they want a new map drawn next year, though a map created with a more bipartisan process is set to be drawn for 2022. 

Attorneys for voting rights groups argued Monday that Ohio Republicans' goal was to lock in a significant majority when they redrew the state's congressional map, as the trial opened in a federal lawsuit against state officials who controlled the redistricting.

photo of Cleveland Museum of Art atrium
WIKIMEDIA

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, March 4:

Ohio's Congressional map based on the 2010 Census
SECRETARY OF STATE

In light of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions on gerrymandering in two other states, voting-rights groups have revised their lawsuit over how Ohio draws its congressional maps. 

CLIFF ROSENBERGER
STATE OF OHIO

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, May 24:

Ohio's Congressional map based on the 2010 Census
SECRETARY OF STATE

Voters approved an overhaul of the way Ohio’s Congressional district map will be drawn in the future. But a lawsuit has been filed in federal court against the current map, which opponents say is a result of partisan gerrymandering.

JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

Ohioans will vote May 8th on Issue 1, a plan to change the way Congressional districts are drawn in Ohio. 

The state is considered one of the most gerrymandered in the U.S. Issue 1 creates a bipartisan process for redrawing districts.

Catherine Turcer is executive director of Common Cause Ohio, one of the groups that, along with lawmakers, came up with the plan.

Photo of ACLU's Mike Brickner
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The May ballot issue that would change the process for drawing lines for congressional districts, is getting widespread bipartisan support from organizations and officials. But there’s one major group that isn’t going to back Issue 1.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio’s Mike Brickner says his group will not endorse it because it won’t prevent gerrymandering on Ohio’s Congressional map.

“It allows the process to devolve into just a single party voting and only getting one party’s approval of the maps," Brickner says. 

Ohio's Congressional map based on the 2010 Census
SECRETARY OF STATE

Ohio’s Republican Party voted last night to join its Democratic counterpart in endorsing a major overhaul of how Ohio’s congressional districts are drawn. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the backing for Issue 1 on the May ballot.

Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof acknowledged to the state’s GOP central committee that the way Ohio divides its congressional districts has been good to Republicans for decades. That’s because Republicans have controlled the state Legislature when it’s redrawn the map every 10 years. But Obhof cautioned things are bound to change.

A photo of Husted and Sykes.
KAREN KASLER / OHIO PUBLIC RADIO STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A plan to change the way the state’s map of Congressional districts will be drawn after the 2020 census will be on the May ballot as Issue 1. 

photo of Ohio Statehouse cupola
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, Feb. 6:

map of Ohio's congressional districts
U.S. Department of the Interior

Closed-door negotiations over a new way to draw Ohio’s Congressional map have broken down. Statehouse Correspondent Jo Ingles reports lawmakers and representatives from citizens’ groups left the Statehouse late last night without coming to an agreement.

A photo of the Senate committee.
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The debate over how to draw Ohio’s Congressional districts continues at the Statehouse as lawmakers and leaders of a coalition of citizens groups talk behind closed doors. The GOP lawmakers want to put their redistricting plan, which lacks any Democratic support, on the May ballot. And if they do, the coalition, which wants to put its own issue before voters this fall, is promising a fight. 

photo of the congressional districts in Ohio
JON HUSTED / OHIO SECRETARY OF STATE

A coalition of citizens’ groups had been talking with state lawmakers for days about a compromise to change the way Ohio’s Congressional map. Both sides -- as well as Democrats who were working onthe deal -- say efforts to reach a deal have failed.

The groups, including Common Cause Ohio and the League of Women Voters of Ohio, said they’ll continue their drive to take their plan to the November ballot because they said the GOP lawmakers’ plan doesn’t keep communities together or create a bipartisan process. 

Jo Ingles / Statehouse News Bureau

An Ohio Senate committee is set to consider a plan Tuesday devised by legislative leaders to change the way Ohio’s Congressional district map is drawn. Some key lawmakers have been behind closed doors trying to hammer out an agreement with minority Democrats to get enough of their buy-in to make passage viable.                        

Democrats are opposed to the plan offered by Republicans in the Senate, because they say it would still allow gerrymandering.

The front page of the redistricting plan.
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

State lawmakers and some backers of a citizen-led initiative to change the way Ohio's Congressional map is drawn continue to hammer out an agreement on a new plan behind closed doors.

Republican Senate President Larry Obhof says he believes there’s hope that a deal can be reached on a plan that would be acceptable to lawmakers and to the citizens’ groups that want to put their redistricting plan on the November ballot.

Akron downtown
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, Jan. 23:

8th St. entrance, Affinity Medical Center
Affinity Medical Center website

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, Jan. 17:

photo of Matt Huffman
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

GOP lawmakers are moving ahead with a proposal to change the way the map of Ohio’s Congressional districts is drawn. But the outline of a new proposal has caused a rift between several groups.

Republicans and Democrats in the Ohio Legislature have both said that they want to revamp congressional redistricting. Critics say the current system doesn’t have any guardrails to stop gerrymandering.

Joe Biden and John Kasich
UNIVERSITY OF DELEWARE

Ohio Gov. John Kasich took the stage with former Vice President Joe Biden this afternoon in Delaware to talk about bridging the partisan divide. As WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, though President Trump was rarely mentioned by name, his administration was repeatedly invoked as a challenge to democracy.

House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The leader of the Ohio House of Representatives is optimistic a new panel looking at ways to reform congressional redistricting will be able to come up with a good solution soon. 

Republican Speaker Cliff Rosenberger says the four members of the bipartisan panel are ready to work on a new plan to draw the Congressional map.

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