COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Ohio Supreme Court has once again struck down statehouse maps submitted by the Ohio Redistricting Commission.
What’s different this time is this is the second time this specific set of maps has been ruled unconstitutional by the court.
In a ruling issued Wednesday, the court rejected — for a fifth time — an attempt by the committee to set up districts for the Ohio Senate and the Ohio House of Representatives.
The current ruling is against a set of maps the commission submitted to the court in late February, which was rejected by the court on March 16.
In Wednesday’s ruling, the court ordered the commission to reconvene and submit a sixth set of maps before June 3 at noon. The map proposal would be due to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, who is also a member of the committee, by 9 a.m. that same day.
The ruling also states explicitly the Ohio Supreme Court retains jurisdiction for “the purpose of reviewing the new plan.”
Late last month, a panel of federal judges set a May 28 deadline for the commission to pass acceptable maps or implement the set of maps rejected in the state court’s ruling. The federal court said that is the date LaRose has designated as the absolute last date the state can begin preparing for a second primary election, which would be scheduled for Aug. 2. That date, LaRose has said, is the last date the primary can be held in order to prepare for November’s general election.
Objections to whatever plan the commission submits to the state court can be filed until noon on June 7.
The rejected maps gave Republicans a 54-45 district advantage in the House and an 18-15 district advantage in the Senate. Opponents argued the GOP districts would not be competitive in elections, while 19 House and seven Senate districts for the Democrats are competitive — which opponents said could give Republicans a supermajority in the Ohio General Assembly.
In addition to LaRose, the commission consists of Republicans Rep. Jeff LaRe, State Sen. Rob McColley, Gov. Mike DeWine, Auditor Keith Faber, and Democrats State Sen. Vernon Sykes and State Rep. Allison Russo.
The court’s full ruling is below.