Three federal judges have rejected a request by Republican elected leaders in Ohio to dismiss a lawsuit that says the judges should toss out the state’s congressional district map because it’s gerrymandered. Judges Karen Nelson Moore, Timothy Black and Michael Watson ruled Wednesday that the constitutional violations the group challenging Ohio’s map allege are still germane despite a U.S. Supreme Court decision on the issue from earlier this year.
The Supreme Court overturned lower-court decisions in similar gerrymandering lawsuits in Wisconsin and Maryland on technical grounds and did not rule on the merits of the lawsuits themselves. Republican elected officials in Ohio tried to use that ruling as a basis to have the lawsuit filed in May against them dismissed.
The judges disagreed that the Supreme Court case and others preclude them from hearing Ohio’s gerrymandering lawsuit. They also noted that while it’s still early in the litigation and that they cannot decide whether the challenges have merit, the plaintiffs have shown enough for the case to proceed.