Provided by Hannah News Service
Because the Ohio Supreme Court dismissed the Ohio Redistricting Commission from a lawsuit challenging a new congressional districting plan enacted as a part of SB258 (McColley), the Court now does not have jurisdiction to a challenge to the latest congressional map drawn by the commission, House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) and Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) argued in Court filings on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the plaintiffs in a separate case against the congressional maps filed their own motion for the Court to enforce its previous order to draw a constitutional congressional map while suggesting changes mainly to districts in Franklin and Hamilton counties.
Responding to a challenge filed by the plaintiffs in Adams v. DeWine against the new congressional map passed by the Ohio Redistricting Commission, Cupp and Huffman argued that in order to have their claims against the new maps adjudicated, they must file a new case.
The two leaders also noted the timing of the May 3, 2022 primary, and pointed to several federal court decisions that stayed court actions against new maps because of the proximity to an election. They said going along with the plaintiffs' demands, which could involve the Court ordering implementation of a different map and/or delaying the primary, would cause chaos and would violate the Ohio Constitution.
Additionally, they argued the Court lacks the authority to draw a congressional plan on its own.
In a separate filing, Secretary of State Frank LaRose said the plaintiffs are asking for the Court to enforce orders it never made, and the Court's orders do not involve staying election deadlines or adopting a new plan on its own, which he argued is against Ohio law. Only the General Assembly can alter election deadlines, he said.
House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington), a member of the Ohio Redistricting Commission, released a statement noting that she did not file because she is not listed in the lawsuit.
Meanwhile, the plaintiffs in the League of Women Voters of Ohio v. Ohio Redistricting Commission filed their own challenge, taking exception in the latest map to changes made involving District 1 in Hamilton County and District 15, which includes Madison and Fayette counties along with portions of Franklin, Clark, Miami, and Shelby counties.
The challenge asks the Court to order the General Assembly and/or the Ohio Redistricting Commission to reconvene and make corrections to those two districts.
In response to the filing, the Ohio Supreme Court ordered respondents to file a response, if any, with the Court by noon on Thursday, March 10.