Judge Dismisses Ohio's Lawsuit Over Census Data Release

Mar 25, 2021

A federal judge has dismissed Republican Ohio Attorney General David Yost’s lawsuit against the Biden administration to force the results of last year’s Census to be released by March 31.

Ohio had hoped to start drawing new legislative and Congressional maps soon, under a new process approved by voters. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports." class="wysiwyg-break drupal-content" src="/sites/all/modules/contrib/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif" title="<--break-->">

Congressional maps are redrawn after a census, and the Census Bureau says its data won’t be available till September, not the March 31 legal deadline. But Southern District of Ohio Judge Thomas M. Rose writes in his 19-page decision that there won’t be a decision on whether Ohio will have 16 or 15 representatives till later.

Rose notes that the Ohio constitution has other ways to draw maps without census data, and that the state not having a flexible map-drawing schedule because of the pandemic is not the administration’s problem. And finally, he writes that the state’s frustration in not having the data isn’t concrete harm, so Ohio doesn’t have standing to sue.

The AG’s office has appealed the ruling.