Stay Requested On Controversial District Map Re-Do

May 6, 2019

Credit Cleveland State University

Ohio is seeking to stay an order requiring a new congressional map be drawn by next month after a court ruling found its Republican-drawn congressional districts unconstitutional.   Ohio's Attorney General filed an appeal Monday on behalf of GOP Secretary of State Frank LaRose and Republican legislative leaders.  

A panel of federal judges issued their ruling Friday and ordered the state to draw a new map in time for the 2020 elections. The judges - two nominated by Democratic presidents, one by a Republican - ordered a proposed new map by June 14.  

The ruling, if it stands, could be an important victory for Democrats in a key battleground state. They hope redrawn boundaries help them pick up House seats and deliver the states' delegates for a Democratic presidential nominee in 2020.  

While the map came out of a deal between state lawmakers of both parties, Republicans and Democrats are at odds in the battle over it. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.

Ohio Democratic Party chair David Pepper says a fairly drawn map of the bellwether state of Ohio wouldn’t have 12 Republicans and 4 Democrats in every election since the map was created.

“They don't expect it to be exact but you'd expect to have not guaranteed 12-4.”

Ohio Republican Party chair Jane Timken doesn’t defend the current map, but says given where each party’s voters live, guaranteeing an even split would also be gerrymandering.

“This artificial creation of what the state wide voter turnout and election results were on a specific congressional district - they need to represent the voters in that district.”

The map passed in 2011 after a bipartisan deal to avoid a second primary in 2012 that would have been just for Congressional districts.