A three-judge panel on Wednesday declined to throw out a gerrymandering lawsuit against Republican officials in Ohio, finding that a group of Democratic voters established legal standing to bring the challenge. In May, a coalition of Democratic voters and groups, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, sued Governor John Kasich and other Republican lawmakers in Cincinnati federal court. They urged the court to enjoin a 2011 redistricting statute that the GOP used to redraw maps, arguing it gave an unfair advantage to Republicans at the expense of Democratic voters. Republicans would win 12 congressional districts and Democrats four districts, even as the statewide share of the vote for each party shifted over three congressional elections between 2013 and 2016.
The Supreme Court declined in June to rule on the constitutionality of the partisan redistricting that allegedly favors one political party over another. In two separate cases, Democrats had challenged maps drawn by Republicans in Wisconsin, while Republicans had fought the legality of a Democratic plan to redraw a congressional district in Maryland.
The nation’s highest court vacated a ruling in the Wisconsin case, saying that the lower court must better address on remand whether the voters have standing. Meanwhile, the justices affirmed denial of an injunction in the Maryland case, finding that the plea for immediacy rings hollow when the plaintiffs waited to seek relief six years and three general elections after the 2011 map was adopted.
Full Article: Panel Advances Challenge to Ohio Voting Maps.