Voting rights advocates celebrated Friday after a panel of three federal judges struck down Ohio’s congressional map, ruling that district lines were unconstitutionally gerrymandered to benefit the Republican Party.
“For far too long partisan gerrymandering has plagued our politics, divided our communities, and weakened the power of the people’s voice and vote in government.”
—Catherine Turcer, Common Cause Ohio
In a unanimous ruling (pdf), the judges said they were “convinced by the evidence” that the Republican-drawn congressional map amounted to an “intentional and effective” partisan gerrymander.
“The bottom line is that the dominant party in state government manipulated district lines in an attempt to control electoral outcomes and thus direct the political ideology of the state’s congressional delegation,” the judges wrote.
“Today’s decision is a victory for Ohio voters,” Catherine Turcer, executive director of Common Cause Ohio, said in a statement. “For far too long partisan gerrymandering has plagued our politics, divided our communities, and weakened the power of the people’s voice and vote in government.”
The court ruled that Ohio Republicans cannot use the gerrymandered map in future elections and gave lawmakers until June to draw up a replacement that does not violate the Constitution.
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