Federal judges made good on a promise at midnight Saturday by implementing Ohio state legislative district maps that were previously ruled unconstitutional twice by the Ohio Supreme Court.
The three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, by a vote of 2-1, also ordered the state to hold its second primary Aug. 2.
“Given the factual record before us, two reasons justified our approach. First, no map had wo the approval of both the Commission and the Ohio Supreme Court. And second, Map 3 gave the state the most time to fix its own problem. That broke the tie,” the order, signed by judges Amul Thapar and Benjamin Beaton, read.
The U.S. Supreme Court blocked new redistricting maps for Wisconsin’s state legislature, while upholding the state’s new federal congressional boundaries.
Previously, Republican members of the legislature filed the lawsuit, claiming the state judges “did not and could not have concluded that drawing districts based on race was required by federal law and satisfied strict scrutiny.”
The GOP-dominated Ohio Redistricting Commission has passed its third set of state legislative maps, a week after a court-ordered deadline and with one Republican objection.
The 4-3 commission vote means if the maps are approved by the Ohio Supreme Court, they last only four years rather than the traditional 10 that would have happened with bipartisan support on the commission.
Commission Co-Chair and House Speaker Bob Cupp, R-Lima, said the new maps, which were passed late Thursday, met all the constitutional requirements established when voters created the commission and twice when the court ruled previous maps were unfairly gerrymandered to benefit Republicans.
The Virginia Supreme Court on Tuesday approved the final version of congressional and legislative maps that will enact political boundaries for the next decade.
The process allowed for the judicial branch to determine the districts after the Virginia Redistricting Commission failed to produce any maps.