Ohio’s District Map is Ruled Unconstitutional

Ohios District Map is Ruled Unconstitutional

Nina Zanghi

On Friday, May 3rd, a three judge panel ruled that Ohio’s congressional district map is unconstitutional. The map was made in 2012 and supposed to last until 2020. Ohio will have to make a new map by June 14th for the 2020 election. The ruling said that map “unconstitutionally burdens associational rights by making it more difficult for voters and certain organizations to advance their aims, be they pro-Democratic or pro-democracy.”

The unconstitutional map was drawn by the Republican-controlled state legislature, and purposely drew the districts to put as many Democrats in one district as they possibly could, giving the Republicans a better chance at winning more elections. This technique of putting as many as one type of voter as you can in a district is called packing. For the last four elections, the Republicans have been able to win 12 out of the 16 districts.

On Monday, May 6th, the state of Ohio appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and requested that the ruling would not be enforced until the appeal was heard. The reason for this is that two other gerrymandering cases (regarding the states of Maryland and North Carolina) were heard by the Supreme Court in March; the decisions come out in June. The ruling of those cases has the potential to affect Ohio’s ruling. It has not been decided if they will hold enforcement of the ruling.

When Lakewood resident, Ella Calleri, heard about the ruling she said, “I am very glad that they ruled it unconstitutional. Hopefully this will force them to draw a more fair map, which can give both Democrats and Republicans a chance at winning a district.”