Ohio GOP Back to Drawing Board as New Maps Rejected by Supreme Court as 'Gerrymandered'

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled on Friday the new congressional redistricting map designed by Republicans must be re-drawn because it violates the state's constitution gerrymandering amendment.

The court decided in a 4-3 vote to reject the map as justices said Republican lawmakers gerrymandered the map. The new districts would have given GOP candidates a 12-3 advantage over the Democrats in the House of Representatives elections, The New York Times reported.

"When the dealer stacks the deck in advance, the house usually wins," Justice Michael Dolley wrote for the majority in the court's decision.

In a 2018 Ohio Constitution amendment, people drawing the electoral district maps are not allowed to redraw the state's districts in a way that would favor one political party over another, also known as gerrymandering. The court rejected the most recent GOP map because it did just that, according to The New York Times.

"No magician's trick can hide what the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates: the map statistically presents such a partisan advantage that it unduly favors the Republican Party," Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor, a Republican, wrote in a separate opinion.

The court sent the map back to the Ohio General Assembly where they have 30 days to redraw the lines for the congressional map. If they are unable to, the map will be sent to the Ohio Redistricting Commission who also has 30 days to try and create a map that adheres to the regulations of the constitution, The Colombus Dispatch reported.

"The evidence in these cases makes clear beyond all doubt that the General Assembly did not heed the clarion call sent by Ohio voters to stop political gerrymandering," Donnely wrote.

The court said the new map clearly favored GOP candidates over Democratic ones. The map also unnecessarily splits Hamilton, Cuyahoga and Summit counties, according to the decision.

According to The Colombus Dispatch, the court ruled that the map needed to be completely redone and making minor adjustments would not fix the issue at hand.

"This plan defies correction on a simple district-by-district basis," Donnelly wrote in the decision. "We, therefore, see no recourse but to invalidate the entire congressional-district plan."

The Ohio Supreme Court already rejected the Republican-drawn State and Senate District map on Wednesday which was submitted by the Ohio Redistricting Commission, WBNS-TV reported.

The court voted in a 4-3 decision saying they wouldn't be accepting the Ohio Redistricting Commission maps as they failed to "draw legislative districts that correspond wth the statewide voter preference of Ohioans," WBNS reported.

The court gave the redistricting commission 10 days to come up with a new plan that adheres to the constitution.

Ohio Map Rejected: Gerrymandering
On Friday, the Ohio Supreme Court rejected a new map of the state's 15 congressional districts as gerrymandered, sending the blueprint back for another try. Members of the Ohio Senate Government Oversight Committee hear testimony on a new map of state congressional districts in this file photo from November 16, 2021, at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. Julie Carr Smyth/AP Photo