CASE SUMMARY

On November 30, 2021, a coalition of civil rights groups and Ohio voters led by the League of Women Voters of Ohio filed a lawsuit with the Ohio Supreme Court challenging the state's enacted congressional redistricting plan as violating the Ohio Constitution. Specifically, plaintiffs allege that the congressional plan is a partisan gerrymander that unduly favors the Republican Party and its candidates in violation of Article XIX, Section 1(C)(3)(a), which broadly prohibits any plan from "unduly favor[ing] or disfavor[ing] a political party or its incumbents." Additionally, plaintiffs assert that the plan also excessively and unnecessarily splits counties and political subdivisions in violation of Article XIX, Section 1(C)(3)(b). They are seeking a judicial declaration that the enacted congressional plan violates Article XIX of the Ohio Constitution, an injunction barring the defendants from using the plan in any future elections, and a court order requiring the Ohio Redistricting Commission to adopt a new congressional plan or, at minimum, to amend the enacted plan to correct the alleged violations.

On December 17, 2021, the Ohio Supreme Court issued an order consolidating this case with another challenge to Ohio's enacted congressional plan, Adams v. DeWine. The Court heard oral arguments in these consolidated actions on December 28, 2021.

On January 14, 2022, the Ohio Supreme Court issued its decision invalidating the enacted congressional plan on the grounds it unduly favored the Republican Party and disfavored the Democratic Party in violation of Article XIX, Section 1(C)(3)(a). The Court also held that the plan unduly split Hamilton, Cuyahoga, and Summit Counties in violation of Section 1(C)(3)(b). Having found it unconstitutional, the Court ordered the General Assembly to craft and enact a new, constitutional congressional plan in accordance with Article XIX, which establishes a deadline of 30 days from the date of the court's judgment (making the deadline 2/13/22).

Related Case: Adams v. DeWine

Similar Cases: League of Women Voters of Ohio v. Ohio Redistricting Comm'n; Bennett v. Ohio Redistricting Comm'n; Ohio Organizing Collaborative v. Ohio Redistricting Comm'n

CASE LIBRARY

Ohio Supreme Court - No. 2021-1449 [together with No. 2021-1428]