COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s Republican-drawn congressional map was rejected by the state’s high court Friday, giving hope to national Democrats who had argued it unfairly delivered several potentially competitive seats in this year’s critical midterm elections to Republicans.

In the 4-3 decision, the Ohio Supreme Court returned the map to the Ohio General Assembly, where Republicans hold supermajorities in both chambers, and then to the powerful Ohio Redistricting Commission. The two bodies have a combined 60 days to draw new lines that comply with a 2018 constitutional amendment against gerrymandering.

The powerful redistricting commission was already in the process of reconstituting so it can redraw GOP-drawn legislative maps the court also rejected this week as gerrymandered. That decision gave the panel 10 days to comply, raising growing concerns about the looming Feb. 2 candidate filing deadline for the May primary.

Neither the congressional nor the legislative maps drew a single Democratic vote.

Writing for the majority, Justice Michael Donnelly, one of the court’s three Democrats, wrote, ”(T)he evidence in these cases makes clear beyond all doubt that the General Assembly did not heed the clarion call sent by Ohio voters to stop political gerrymandering.”

The court’s three Democrats were joined by Chief Justice …read more



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