Federal court strikes down Ohio congressional maps
A panel of federal judges on Friday ruled Ohio legislators violated the Constitution in drawing congressional district lines that unfairly hindered Democratic chances at winning seats in Congress.
The three judges, who sit on the U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, ruled in favor of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, which sued, claiming the districts unfairly pack Democratic voters into some districts and split them between others, diluting their political power.
The ruling is similar to one issued last week in Michigan, where a court struck down congressional and state legislative district lines. The three judges said Ohio state legislators had gone too far in drawing lines that aided Republican candidates.
“We are convinced by the evidence that this partisan gerrymander was intentional and effective and that no legitimate justification accounts for its extremity. Performing our analysis district by district, we conclude that the 2012 map dilutes the votes of Democratic voters by packing and cracking them into districts that are so skewed toward one party that the electoral outcome is predetermined,” the judges wrote.
Ohio legislators are almost certain to appeal the ruling, which would go directly to the Supreme Court.