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Redistricting: Ohio Supreme Court strikes down state House and Senate maps

The Ohio Supreme Court struck down GOP-drawn state House and Senate district maps as unconstitutional gerrymandering in a 4-3 decision Wednesday, sending the maps back to the drawing board.

Advocates of redistricting reform hailed the decision as a resounding victory for Ohio voters who overwhelmingly approved changes to the state constitution to limit partisan line-drawing in 2015.

“This ruling sends a clear message to lawmakers in Ohio: they may not put politics over people," said attorney Freda Levenson, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, who argued for opponents of the maps.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the Ohio Redistricting Commission – which is tasked with drawing legislative maps and dominated by Republicans – could not ignore parts of the Ohio Constitution that required them to attempt to match the statewide voting preferences of voters, according to the court's majority opinion, written by Justice Melody Stewart.

Those preferences, according to Stewart's opinion, were 54% for Republican candidates and 46% for Democratic candidates over the past decade.

“The commission is required to attempt to draw a plan in which the statewide proportion of Republican-leaning districts to Democratic-leaning districts closely corresponds to those percentages,” Stewart wrote. “Section 6 speaks not of desire but of direction: the commission shall attempt to achieve the standards of that section."

Stewart rejected the argument from commission members Senate President Matt Huffman and House Speaker Bob Cupp that the language was "aspirational" and required only if other, more technical, line-drawing requirements weren't met.

"We reject the notion that Ohio voters rallied so strongly behind an anti-gerrymandering amendment to the Ohio Constitution yet believed at the time that the amendment was toothless," Stewart wrote.

The commission must now get to work. The new plan must be adopted within 10 days, and the Ohio Supreme Court retains its authority to review any rewrites.

Feb. 2 is the current deadline to file paperwork to run for the Ohio Legislature. State lawmakers could change that filing date without moving the May 3 primary.

What did O'Connor say?
Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor was the key vote, breaking with her party to rule against the maps. O'Connor, a Republican, joined the court's three Democratic justices and the three GOP justices dissented.

O’Connor, who has served in statewide office for 24 years, suggested an alternative to the commission, which she called out for its partisanship.

“Having now seen firsthand that the current Ohio Redistricting Commission – comprised of statewide elected officials and partisan legislators – is seemingly unwilling to put aside partisan concerns as directed by the people’s vote, Ohioans may opt to pursue further constitutional amendment to replace the current commission with a truly independent, nonpartisan commission that more effectively distances the redistricting process from partisan politics,” O'Connor wrote in a concurring opinion.

'The plan's result was by design'
On Sept. 16, Republicans on the Ohio Redistricting Commission approved maps that would allow the GOP to retain its veto-proof majority in the state Legislature over the objections of the commission's two Democrats.

According to Huffman, R-Lima, the maps could give Republicans a 62-37 advantage in the House and 23-10 advantage in the Senate.

Republicans justified their maps by saying voters preferred GOP candidates between 54% and 81% of the time. Those figures are the average percentage of votes GOP candidates received in recent statewide elections and the percent of statewide races won by Republicans over the past decade, respectively.

Stewart pointed to several examples of why the commission made an inadequate attempt to match statewide voting preferences. The commission had no employees and initially allocated $150,000 to each chamber. No money was given to the statewide officials on the panel – Gov. Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Frank LaRose and Auditor Keith Faber – to help with mapmaking.

And there’s the fact that the mapmakers – GOP staffers Ray DiRossi and Blake Springhetti – reported to legislative leaders Huffman and Cupp, respectively, and not the commission at large.

“The evidence here demonstrates that Senate President Huffman and House Speaker Cupp controlled the process of drawing the maps that the commission ultimately adopted,” Stewart wrote.

Three lawsuits were filed against the maps at the Ohio Supreme Court, claiming GOP mapmakers disregarded a section of voter-approved changes to the Ohio Constitution that required them to attempt to match voters' political preferences. They argued that the maps gave Republicans an unfair and unearned advantage.

Ohio redistricting:Will Ohio Supreme Court strike down GOP-drawn House and Senate maps? Here are the arguments

As part of those lawsuits, Dr. Kosuke Imai, a professor at Harvard University, created 5,000 possible district plans. None was as favorable to Republicans as the one adopted by the Ohio Redistricting Commission.

“The fact that the adopted plan is an outlier among 5,000 simulated plans is strong evidence that the plan’s result was by design,” she wrote.

Stewart also rejected the notion that voters frustrated by the maps had no recourse but to vote out members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission at the next election.

“The notion that the voters who overwhelmingly approved the amendment of Article XI meant to hinge the eradication of partisan gerrymandering on the election of various officeholders simply holds no water,” she wrote.

3 GOP justices dissent
Justice Sharon Kennedy, a Republican who is running for chief justice, wrote in a dissenting opinion that the court did not have the constitutional authority to send the maps back.

She and Justice Pat DeWine, who signed on to her dissent, argued that the section in Ohio's constitution that says no plan "shall be drawn primarily to favor or disfavor a political party" doesn't have the same enforcement mechanisms as other sections. Pat DeWine is the governor's son.

"The majority today, though, finds the constitutionally imposed limits unduly constraining, so it chooses to disregard them," Kennedy wrote.

Justice Pat Fischer wrote, in a separate opinion: "The majority opinion is unreasonably, unabashedly, and unlawfully altering the Ohio Constitution."

[Linked Image from gannett-cdn.com]
The Ohio Redistricting Commission approved this map for the Ohio State Senate. ^

[Linked Image from gannett-cdn.com]
The Ohio Redistricting Commission approved this map for the Ohio State House of Representatives. ^

What comes next

The court ordered the Ohio Redistricting Commission to draw new maps.

Gov. Mike DeWine, in a statement, said he would work with fellow Ohio Redistricting Commission members on revised maps "that are consistent with the Court’s order.”

Jen Miller, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio, called on commission members to "draw maps that keep communities together and represent the right of every Ohio voter to have fair districts."

The Ohio Supreme Court is also reviewing the GOP-drawn congressional map, which was challenged by two lawsuits. A ruling on that map is still pending.

Earlier in the day, U.S. District Court Judge John Adams placed a federal case challenging state and congressional maps on hold for 60 days while the Ohio Supreme Court reviewed several pending lawsuits.

https://www.dispatch.com/story/news...-state-house-and-senate-maps/6447740001/


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Well at least we have a somewhat sane state Supreme Court.

Cause the wackos in the state legislature are trying to turn us into Indiana or western Michigan. Bunch of right wing nut bags.


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Yeah, here in Tennessee they're trying to break Nashville up pretty much the same way. It's the first time in history they've attempted to do so.


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And yet, HERE, we got redistricted to Mary Kaptur's district. Odd. Marcy doesn't rep.........eh, never mind.


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j/c:

The redistricting Ohio Republicans did a few years back was a joke.

Unfortunately, it seems to be happening around the country recently. Both parties are included in the shenanigans.


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What really is a shame is that a certain party feels the need to do things like Redistricting to best suit their own candidates not to best serve the public.... and in Wisconsin and Michigan and Arizona,, that certain party decided to send in FALSE information that declared a Former President as the winner of the last election.... Then we find out they aren't even the official electors....LOL What a shame they need to resort to these actions.


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It’s quite a shame and is so backwards from the plan of giving power to the people. Shameful.


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What else can you do when your positions are unpopular, you have no policies, fail to govern, and would lose every election if voter turnout is high?

It wasn't always like this.
GOP used to be a legitimate political party. Now, they're like a cult- or gang of thugs.


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Originally Posted by Clemdawg
What else can you do when your positions are unpopular, you have no policies, fail to govern, and would lose every election if voter turnout is high?

It wasn't always like this.
GOP used to be a legitimate political party. Now, they're like a cult- or gang of thugs.

Many members, perhaps the majority of Republicans have been conned...

These are the same idiots that thought cutting taxes on the wealthy and on corporations would be good for the economy....


You wanna help Americans.. Raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations and put them back to where they were before Trump took a knife to them.. Then Lower the taxes on those that actually do all the working and lifting and toting and sweating and grunting... You know, the ones that BUILT America! The working man and woman..

By the way, if the working family has more spending money,, they'll spend it... That drives everything...

Last edited by Damanshot; 01/14/22 03:29 PM.

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You wanna help Americans.. Raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations and put them back to where they were before Trump took a knife to them.. Then Lower the taxes on those that actually do all the working and lifting and toting and sweating and grunting... You know, the ones that BUILT America! The working man and woman..

By the way, if the working family has more spending money,, they'll spend it... That drives everything...

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Politicians prefer to choose their voters and should not be allowed to do so.

With computer modeling, they can pick and choose townships....


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Originally Posted by WooferDawg
Politicians prefer to choose their voters and should not be allowed to do so.

With computer modeling, they can pick and choose townships....

If anyone wants proof of this,, just look at Jim Jordan district.... That is by far, the craziest district ever......


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You mean like this, for Kaptur? https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?p=map+of+marcy+kapturs+district&fr=yfp-t&imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fmedia.cleveland.com%2Fdatacentral%2Fphoto%2Fmarcy-kaptur-district.png#id=0&iurl=http%3A%2F%2Fmedia.cleveland.com%2Fdatacentral%2Fphoto%2Fmarcy-kaptur-district.png&action=click


http://media.cleveland.com/datacentral/photo/marcy-kaptur-district.png


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They’re both dumb quite honestly. Despicable.


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Originally Posted by Damanshot
Originally Posted by Clemdawg
What else can you do when your positions are unpopular, you have no policies, fail to govern, and would lose every election if voter turnout is high?

It wasn't always like this.
GOP used to be a legitimate political party. Now, they're like a cult- or gang of thugs.

Many members, perhaps the majority of Republicans have been conned...

These are the same idiots that thought cutting taxes on the wealthy and on corporations would be good for the economy....


You wanna help Americans.. Raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations and put them back to where they were before Trump took a knife to them.. Then Lower the taxes on those that actually do all the working and lifting and toting and sweating and grunting... You know, the ones that BUILT America! The working man and woman..

By the way, if the working family has more spending money,, they'll spend it... That drives everything...

I don't agree with the first few comments, but largely agree with the main focus of the post. Just a few tweeks.

I would argue that someone like Henry Ford had as much, if not more, in the building of the country as anyone who worked the assembly line. I wouldn't minimize the importance.

I agree that wealthy people should pay more. My only sticking point is what is defined as wealthy? It is far too easy to take that amount lower and lower. I'd bet there are people in this country who view any of us on the board as "wealthy". Or at least many of us.

Where do we draw the lines? My feeling is the poverty level is set too low and the upper end of the middle level is set too low. We seem to keep moving the upper end of poverty upwards and shrink the top end of the middle.

I guess what I am saying is I don't think people making $500,000 a year are wealthy people. We can adjust those numbers, I just threw of a figure. The person making $18,000 per year probably thinks the person making $54,000 is a wealthy person. Just food for thought.

As for corporate taxes, I don't know where things stand. My feeling is our tax rates should be comparable to those of other countries in the world. Not the lowest, nor the highest. We do need to be competitive in order to not tax our business out of the country, which has happened.

Again, much of what I say seems to go against your post, but I really do agree. I am just a realist in that I think it is human nature to keep as much of what you have as much as it is for those without to get more of what others have.

I don't have a problem with people making more money, but you can't simply legislate that. As we have seen, the recent wage gains by lower income folks have been wiped out pretty quickly.


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Originally Posted by Ballpeen
Originally Posted by Damanshot
Originally Posted by Clemdawg
What else can you do when your positions are unpopular, you have no policies, fail to govern, and would lose every election if voter turnout is high?

It wasn't always like this.
GOP used to be a legitimate political party. Now, they're like a cult- or gang of thugs.

Many members, perhaps the majority of Republicans have been conned...

These are the same idiots that thought cutting taxes on the wealthy and on corporations would be good for the economy....


You wanna help Americans.. Raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations and put them back to where they were before Trump took a knife to them.. Then Lower the taxes on those that actually do all the working and lifting and toting and sweating and grunting... You know, the ones that BUILT America! The working man and woman..

By the way, if the working family has more spending money,, they'll spend it... That drives everything...

I don't agree with the first few comments, but largely agree with the main focus of the post. Just a few tweeks.

I would argue that someone like Henry Ford had as much, if not more, in the building of the country as anyone who worked the assembly line. I wouldn't minimize the importance.

I agree that wealthy people should pay more. My only sticking point is what is defined as wealthy? It is far too easy to take that amount lower and lower. I'd bet there are people in this country who view any of us on the board as "wealthy". Or at least many of us.

Where do we draw the lines? My feeling is the poverty level is set too low and the upper end of the middle level is set too low. We seem to keep moving the upper end of poverty upwards and shrink the top end of the middle.

I guess what I am saying is I don't think people making $500,000 a year are wealthy people. We can adjust those numbers, I just threw of a figure. The person making $18,000 per year probably thinks the person making $54,000 is a wealthy person. Just food for thought.

As for corporate taxes, I don't know where things stand. My feeling is our tax rates should be comparable to those of other countries in the world. Not the lowest, nor the highest. We do need to be competitive in order to not tax our business out of the country, which has happened.

Again, much of what I say seems to go against your post, but I really do agree. I am just a realist in that I think it is human nature to keep as much of what you have as much as it is for those without to get more of what others have.

I don't have a problem with people making more money, but you can't simply legislate that. As we have seen, the recent wage gains by lower income folks have been wiped out pretty quickly.

And without the working men and women,, where would Henry Ford be... But I see your point.. We need folks like Ford and others,, but we can't forget the little guy.. they are the backbone of America and frankly, when you cut the wealthy and corporations a break, it doesn't help anyone but the wealthy and corporations.


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Originally Posted by archbolddawg
You mean like this, for Kaptur? https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?p=map+of+marcy+kapturs+district&fr=yfp-t&imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fmedia.cleveland.com%2Fdatacentral%2Fphoto%2Fmarcy-kaptur-district.png#id=0&iurl=http%3A%2F%2Fmedia.cleveland.com%2Fdatacentral%2Fphoto%2Fmarcy-kaptur-district.png&action=click


http://media.cleveland.com/datacentral/photo/marcy-kaptur-district.png

You realize that Republicans built that district to help themselves elsewhere throughout the state right? It's a D+9 83% Urban district, exactly what you want if you are a Republican.


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I agree, you can't forget the little guy. It's like a marriage. It takes both to really make things work. No disagreement at all. My only rub is about giving breaks to others not helping the "little" guy.

I would never forget the "little" guy. My Dad was a "little" guy. He just happened to make a lot of money. He and his Army buddy started a business after the war. His buddy was the engineer, dad was the mechanic. His buddy ran engineering, dad ran the shop. The two of them managed the business that grew in to maybe 150 employees.


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Oh...I like it better when we have discussions like this rather than throwing darts.


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Originally Posted by Damanshot
And without the working men and women,, where would Henry Ford be...

Out of business. IMO this the core of the problem. Companies are more loyal to shareholders than to their employees. They forget that without their employees, they wouldn't be doing business. We know corporations are greedy, so consumers should use that against them. Boycott. Hit their bottom line, keep the government from bailing them out and some of this corporations would fold like a lawn chair. Unfortunately, most consumers don't have the willpower to do such a thing.


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I agree. Apathy is the American people's biggest enemy.


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Originally Posted by Squires
Originally Posted by Damanshot
And without the working men and women,, where would Henry Ford be...

Out of business. IMO this the core of the problem. Companies are more loyal to shareholders than to their employees. They forget that without their employees, they wouldn't be doing business. We know corporations are greedy, so consumers should use that against them. Boycott. Hit their bottom line, keep the government from bailing them out and some of this corporations would fold like a lawn chair. Unfortunately, most consumers don't have the willpower to do such a thing.

This conversation has been going for decades.

It's always "tax the rich, and the corporations" The old 'tax others, not me" thing. Several problems with this thought though.

1. The people writing the tax code. They ARE the rich, and they are in office because of the rich. And they want to stay in office. Period. Think they'll nail the 'rich'? No. They write loopholes into whatever they enact, to protect them, and their financial supporters.

2. Rich people spend money - a lot of it - yes, discretionary spending. Rich can do that, while poor can't. I understand that.

3. Corporations don't pay tax. The people that buy their goods/services pay the tax in increased costs.

4. I could go with a flat tax. Depending, of course, but for everyone.

5. Tax breaks for equipment is understandable. I mean, anyone that owns a home gets to write off a percentage of their mortgage interest, right?

6. Anyone and everyone that gets ANY sort of pension or retirement plan benefits from corporations profiting/being profitable. The money invested to pay for a pension or retirement account goes into - stocks, bonds, etc. Those investments sure better make money, or the pension/retirement goes out the window.

This is not an exhaustive list by any stretch. And this is not an R vs. D thing, nor is it a Cons. vs. Lib. thing.


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To an extent we agree. But not long ago we actually saw the legislature pass tax cuts. Much of those cuts went to the wealthy. So while I agree that can't actually rewrite the tax code, there is no question they have a direct impact on tax rates.


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Originally Posted by Squires
Originally Posted by Damanshot
And without the working men and women,, where would Henry Ford be...

Out of business. IMO this the core of the problem. Companies are more loyal to shareholders than to their employees. They forget that without their employees, they wouldn't be doing business. We know corporations are greedy, so consumers should use that against them. Boycott. Hit their bottom line, keep the government from bailing them out and some of this corporations would fold like a lawn chair. Unfortunately, most consumers don't have the willpower to do such a thing.

And without the company, the workers wouldn't have jobs.

My point is this is an argument that just goes round and round. An endless loop.

Maybe everybody needs everybody and there is no correct answer.


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That sounds great in theory. Now if you could only get companies and corporations to treat and show their workers they believed that.


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Originally Posted by PitDAWG
That sounds great in theory. Now if you could only get companies and corporations to treat and show their workers they believed that.

I think for the most part the larger companies do. What happens in smaller companies could be all over the board.

There is always going to be some divide over wages and corporate earnings. Earnings by the company and earning by the executive management. I am not going to get in to that debate other than to say you are pretty much always going to have that unless everybody was getting equal shares of the pie.


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Originally Posted by Ballpeen
I agree, you can't forget the little guy. It's like a marriage. It takes both to really make things work. No disagreement at all. My only rub is about giving breaks to others not helping the "little" guy.

I would never forget the "little" guy. My Dad was a "little" guy. He just happened to make a lot of money. He and his Army buddy started a business after the war. His buddy was the engineer, dad was the mechanic. His buddy ran engineering, dad ran the shop. The two of them managed the business that grew in to maybe 150 employees.


One helluva good story Peen... Both grandfathers of mine came here from Italy.. didn't speak the language, no Money... Both worked hard, raised families, built businesses that were successful... Love stories like that.

When I say helping the wealthy and corps, I say so with knowledge and memory of this last tax break they got.. It was supposed to stimulate the economy (which was pretty damn strong to begin with) What actually happened with most companies was major stock by backs.. In otherwords, they didn't keep their word.

At the time, I was ok with the tax breaks but for me, it needed to come with a "catch".. Corps needed to do what they talked about doing... Don't keep your word, tax break revoked... Simple...A fair exchange...

I don't have an issue with CEO's doing what's best for their corps.. They have a responsiblity to do so.. But when they sell the tax cuts as a way to do do right by the little guy, then break your word, that's it for me.


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Originally Posted by Ballpeen
Oh...I like it better when we have discussions like this rather than throwing darts.

As do I, now all we need is for you to stop defending Trump and we'll be just fine....LOL


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I would agree in so far as they take good care of their white collar workers. There is a demand for their skills and they do want the best in those positions. Not so much for the blue collar worker. Positions they see as replaceable at the drop of a hat. That only happens in the type of environment we have now. Where workers have jobs available to upgrade their incomes. They move on and those who have a demand for workers and can't find them have to pay more to draw workers. Even when that happens rather than be happy for those at the bottom people complain saying "Nobody wants to work!".

No, they don't want to work for next to nothing.


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Originally Posted by PitDAWG
I would agree in so far as they take good care of their white collar workers. There is a demand for their skills and they do want the best in those positions. Not so much for the blue collar worker. Positions they see as replaceable at the drop of a hat. That only happens in the type of environment we have now. Where workers have jobs available to upgrade their incomes. They move on and those who have a demand for workers and can't find them have to pay more to draw workers. Even when that happens rather than be happy for those at the bottom people complain saying "Nobody wants to work!".

No, they don't want to work for next to nothing.

With many companies today, most of the employees are "white collar". Those are the employees. manufacturing has gone overseas to be able to sell the product at a price people are willing to pay. I know you understand you can't stay in business selling a product at a price people aren't willing to pay.

I like to buy American, but while I know it is "worth" it to buy American, most of the time it isn't 'worth" it, if that makes sense. Like it said, it's a endless loop. People can make endless, legit counterpoints all day long.

it is what it is.


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You seem to have forgotten the millions upon millions in the service industry. And there are millions upon millions still in the manufacturing business. 12.8 million at last count. Those are not counterpoints.


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