Ohio Republican lawmakers thought they had a slam dunk. Using their supermajorities in the Ohio General assembly, GOP lawmakers passed heavily gerrymandered state legislature and congressional maps. This was in spite of the fact that Ohioans twice voted to end the heavy gerrymandering and create new, fair maps. Lawsuits were filed; statewide Republicans such as Gov. Mike DeWine threw up their hands, saying they didn’t like the maps but there was nothing they could do.
Thankfully, the Ohio Supreme Court stepped in. In back-to-back 4-3 rulings, the court rebuked the GOP and ordered the maps to be redrawn. Republican Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, who sided with the three Democratic justices, also issued an opinion stating the legislative maps should not be drawn by the legislators themselves, but instead by a nonpartisan commission.
The decisions are a win for fair voting, but the game isn’t over. Lawmakers only have a limited window to create the new maps before primaries this spring. Who knows what will happen between now and the buzzer?
Kevin Necessary is an illustrator and editorial cartoonist. His editorial cartoons appear Sundays in The Enquirer.