TOLEDO, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court has rejected a new map of the state’s 15 congressional districts as gerrymandered, sending the blueprint back for another try.
The 4-3 decision Friday returns the process to the powerful Ohio Redistricting Commission, which was already reconstituting to re-draw legislative maps rejected earlier this week.
The court's majority said the map of U.S. House districts was drawn strategically to advantage Republicans. Ohio voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2018 that set up a new system to avoid gerrymandering.
Several politicians from around the state weighed in on the decision:
U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo)
"I applaud the Ohio Supreme Court’s bipartisan decision to uphold the rule of law - and the will of the voters - in a resounding stand against unconstitutional districts that rob communities of fair representation.
"It is time for the Ohio Legislature to come together to create districts that are in line with Ohio's electoral competitiveness.
"Democracy itself is on the line. The Ohio Legislature must abide by the law, end the partisan games, and deliver districts that properly represent the people and communities of Ohio."
Ohio Sen. Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green)
"While I am always disappointed to see activist judges legislating from the bench, the court has spoken. The state legislature now has 30 days to act. While Ohio House and Senate leaders get to work on new maps, I’ll continue eagerly representing the people of Northwest and Northern Ohio. I look forward to reinforcing our campaign’s message: We can’t afford a 40th year of Marcy Kaptur’s failed record of defunding the police, sky-high inflation driven by out-of-control government spending, and destroying a parent’s right to be involved in their child’s education."
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)
“The Supreme Court listened to Ohioans and rejected State House Republican politicians’ efforts to draw partisan district lines behind closed doors that rig the system for their own political interests.
"But let me be clear – it should never have to come to this. Republican politicians in Columbus should have followed the constitutional mandate that voters gave them. Columbus Republicans need to stop wasting taxpayer money and time, and start working for Ohioans."
Ohio Rep. Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo)
“This week, the Supreme Court struck down the state legislative and Congressional maps, thus rejecting Republicans’ blatant disregard for the will of the voters. Ohio voters overwhelmingly told lawmakers they wanted fair districts not once, but twice. Hundreds of Ohioans testified that these maps did not live up to their expectations for fair maps and demanded lawmakers do better, but Republicans ignored them. We now have a second opportunity to redraw the maps to best represent Ohioans. I stand willing to partner with my fellow lawmakers to support the will of the people and pass fair maps.”
Ohio Democratic candidate for governor John Cranley
“For the second time this week, Ohio’s highest court put people over politics. I am grateful to the Ohio Supreme Court justices who upheld their oaths of office and upheld the Ohio Constitution. Mike DeWine violated his oath when he voted for unconstitutional maps. I will never violate my oath and will stand up for all voters.”