CASE SUMMARY

On February 18, 2022 a group of Ohio voters filed a federal lawsuit against the Ohio Redistricting Commission and Ohio's Secretary of State challenging the state's 2010-cycle legislative redistricting plan as unconstitutionally malapportioned in violation of the 14th Amendment's one person, one vote constitutional requirement. The plaintiffs also assert the absence of a new, properly apportioned legislative plan results in a denial of the plaintiffs' right to vote in violation of the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses and infringes upon their freedom of association in violation of the 1st Amendment. They are seeking a judicial declaration that Ohio's legislative districts (or lack thereof) violates the 1st and 14th Amendments, a preliminary injunction barring the defendants from using the 2010-cycle plan in future elections, a court-established schedule for enacting a lawful plan and implementing the Ohio Redistricting Commission's second legislative plan, and a court order staying election-related deadlines pending the court's implementation of an interim redistricting plan.

The court briefly stayed the case on March 14 to allow the Ohio Supreme Court time to render its decision after reviewing the Commission's second revised legislative plans for compliance with state constitutional requirements. The Ohio Supreme Court rejected those revised plans on March 16, and two days later the district court lifted the stay on the case after finding, given the impasse between the state's political branches, a three-judge panel would be necessary to hear the parties' claims. A three-judge panel was appointed the same day.

On April 20, the court issued an opinion and order enjoining the prior decade's legislative maps from further use and giving the State a deadline of May 28, 2022, to enact properly apportioned legislative redistricting plans. If the State fails to do so, the court will impose the Ohio Redistricting Commission's third set of legislative plans for use in the 2022 elections only, after which the State must then pass properly apportioned plans. The court issued an additional opinion and order on May 12 rejecting one plaintiff's motion to alter or amend the Court's April 20 judgment as well as their motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction as to the third set of legislative plans being used in the interim for the 2022 elections.

Related Cases: League of Women Voters of Ohio v. Ohio Redistricting Commission; Bennett v. Ohio Redistricting Commission; Ohio Organizing Collaborative v. Ohio Redistricting Commission

CASE LIBRARY

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division - No. 2:22-cv-773