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Ohio Supreme Court Sets Stage For Battle Over New Congressional District Map

The chairs behind the bench at the Ohio Supreme Court.
Daniel Konik
Ohio Public Radio
The chairs behind the bench at the Ohio Supreme Court.

Attorneys are set to argue for and against Ohio's new congressional district map in the state supreme court on Tuesday.

The sides have been preparing for the court battle ever since Republican lawmakers approved a map that gives the GOP a large advantage in Ohio's 15 Congressional districts.

National and local groups, which are plaintiffs in supreme court cases, said the Congressional district map goes against the anti-gerrymandering reforms passed by Ohio voters in 2018.

Jen Miller, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio, is one of the groups suing. She said she's relieved the supreme court scheduled oral arguments so quickly.

"We need to get to mapmaking again. We need the court to strike down the Congressional map and have new maps made. And so time is of the essence and we appreciate the expedited schedule," she said.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose also called on the court to carry out a quick process.

"Time is of the essence," was in the first line of a brief filed by Attorney General Dave Yost (R-Ohio) on behalf of LaRose in the Ohio Supreme Court.

LaRose said oral arguments needed to happen quickly to give enough time for candidates to file their petitions and for boards of elections to prepare ballots.

The map creates 12 out of 15 districts that heavily favor or lean in favor of Republicans. GOP lawmakers say there are more competitive districts than the previous version and that political climates can swing an election one way to another.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.