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Politics & Government

GOP leaders: No contempt in 4th set of Ohio legislative maps

Dan Konik
Ohio Public Radio
The Ohio Redistricting Commission meets on the morning of March 28, 2022.

Ohio’s two most powerful legislators are telling the Ohio Supreme Court that they should not be held in contempt for leading the charge to push through a fourth set of GOP-drawn legislative maps to meet a court-imposed deadline.

In a filing Monday, Senate President Matt Huffman and House Speaker and Ohio Redisricting Commission co-chair Bob Cupp, both Republicans, said the fourth map is not in contempt, “It is compliance.” They argued that they met every point of the high court's order.

Voting rights and Democratic groups allege the panel thwarted orders to avoid partisan gerrymandering.

The Ohio Supreme Court ordered members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission to explain why they should not be held in contempt after making minor changes to and submitting state legislative maps that were previously ruled unconstitutional by the court.

The ruling was in response to groups including the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, the Ohio Organizing Collaborative, CAIR-Ohio, and the Ohio Environmental Council petitioning the court to start contempt proceedings against the four Republicans who voted for the maps.

Hours before a deadline from the Ohio Supreme Court, the commission voted to bypass the work of two independent consultants and instead made minor changes to maps previously ruled unconstitutional by the court.

This is the second time the redistricting commission has had to explain why they shouldn't be held in contempt of court. In February, the state's high court ordered the members of the commission to explain why they shouldn't be held in contempt after failing to meet the court's deadline to submit new legislative maps.