A group of Ohioans wants to try to change the state Constitution by creating a 15-member citizen-appointed panel to draw state legislative and congressional maps removing that power from the Ohio Redistricting Commission.
The Ohio Redistricting Commission is a seven-member body created to draw districts for the Ohio House and Senate.
Republican Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Megan Shanahan has announced her bid for a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court in 2024. Shanahan is the first to announce her candidacy.
According to Shanahan, she is running for an Ohio Supreme Court Seat because she understands the proper role of the judiciary “interpreting the law, not legislating from the bench.”
Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Sharon Kennedy assigned Matthew Byrne, a Twelfth District Court of Appeals judge, this week to preside over a state appeal of a preliminary injunction on Ohio’s abortion law.
Byrne takes over for newly appointed Ohio Justice Joe Deters, who recused himself after the abortion clinic plaintiffs argued that he couldn’t rule on the state’s heartbeat bill ban because he was an original defendant on the case when serving as Hamilton County Prosecutor.
According to former Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor , a group seeking to overhaul Ohio’s redistricting procedure plans to put a constitutional amendment before voters in November 2024.
Last year, the Ohio Supreme Court rejected maps produced by Ohio’s Redistricting Commission on numerous occasions. O’Connor sided with the Democrats in redistricting lawsuits despite the GOP holding a one-seat majority.
Taking her ceremonial oath of office on Wednesday, Ohio’s new Supreme Court Chief Justice Sharon Kennedy promised “a new day” at the high court and could cast the deciding vote on crucial topics in the state like abortion and redistricting.
Kennedy, who becomes the second female justice to preside over the state’s highest court, said she didn’t initially picture the moment.
Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Christian Jenkins (D) this week indicated he will extend his hold on a significant Ohio abortion-restricting law for two additional weeks.
Jenkins’s decision prolongs the effect of a decision he made last week to obstruct the Heartbeat Act’s implementation, with the initial freeze to last two weeks. The state General Assembly passed and Governor Mike DeWine (R) signed the bill (SB 23) in 2019. The legislation, which prohibits aborting unborn children who have detectable heartbeats, could not take effect until this year after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
Ohio’s Supreme Court on Tuesday sided with Gibson’s Bakery in its libel case against Oberlin College, declining to hear the school’s appeal and permitting the family-owned establishment to collect over $36 million in damages.
The litigation against Oberlin and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo stemmed from uncorroborated accusations of racism that the Gibson family believes initially cost their store half its patronage. In June 2019, a Lorain County court ordered the school to pay the bakers $32 million. About $4.5 million in interest has accumulated since that ruling.
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio announced this week they are working to place a state constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights on the election ballot in Ohio.
The prospective effort comes as abortion proponents’ confidence surges after Kansas voters rejected a constitutional amendment that would have stipulated that the Kansas Constitution does not contain the right to terminate a pregnancy failed by a vote of 59 percent to 41 percent.
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) announced this week that the state Board of Education district boundaries will conform to the plan Gov. Mike DeWine (R) issued in January, spurring objections from Democratic lawmakers.
Nineteen individuals sit on the state Board of Education, with 11 of them standing for election. Five of the elected seats are up in this fall’s general election and those wishing to run must file by August 10.
Calling the actions of Republicans on the Ohio Redistricting Commission a “stunning rebuke of the rule of law,” the Ohio Supreme Court rejected for a fifth time a set of Ohio House and Senate district maps.
The decision came three days before a deadline set by federal judges, who said they would implement maps ruled unconstitutional if no new legal maps were created.