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Supreme Court Ruling Suggests Redistricting Commission Be Revisited

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Dan Konik
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The Ohio Supreme Court decision throwing out newly drawn maps for the Ohio House and Senate also included some advice for those concerned about how the maps were created. This was the first time the maps had been drawn under a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2015 to take partisanship out of the process. Activists are considering next steps.

The maps were approved by a seven member Republican-dominated commission created by the amendment. Republican Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor agreed with the court’s three Democrats in tossing the maps, and wrote that activists might consider going to the ballot again to change the process or even create an independent commission like in other states. Common Cause Ohio’s Catherine Turcer led the fight for the amendment in 2015, and says it’s worth thinking about but not rushing into.

“We should learn from other states a little take a little while, so nobody should be picking up their clipboards and getting all ready right away. This is something that we want to do really thoughtfully.”

And Turcer says there are also some fixes that state lawmakers could do – for instance, requiring earlier hearings – though lawmakers did miss several constitutionally-set deadlines in this redistricting process.