COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Ohio Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday on the challenge against the state’s newest Congressional map, with opponents arguing Republican lawmakers ignored reform Ohioans voted for in 2018.
“This case is about how the General Assembly has thumbed its nose at these reforms,” said Ben Stafford, an attorney with Elias Law Firm which is representing the map’s opponents.
The map was drawn by Ohio’s General Assembly and signed by Gov. Mike DeWine.
Republicans argue it features seven competitive districts, six Republican-leaning and two that lean Democrat. However, other analyses have shown Republicans would most likely carry 12 of the 15 districts.
“Republicans are favored in at least 12 of 15 districts in the 2021 plan; that’s 80 percent of the seats,” Stafford said.
The attorney representing statehouse Republicans, Phillip Strach argued in court that lawmakers could have drawn districts that favored incumbent Republicans but chose not to.
“They didn’t do that,” he said. “They took a much more, a much, I think, better approach, one that benefits the citizens and said no we’re going to draw seven competitive districts.”
Both sides will now await the court’s decision on the case. The high court is still discussing the challenge on Ohio’s State Senate and House maps.