Now, the commission has 10 days to get back together, craft new maps and approve them. If the maps receive bipartisan support from two Democrats and at least two Republicans, they could last for 10 years. If they are passed along party lines again, they would last for four years.
The Ohio Supreme Court, in its 4-3 decision, made clear that the commission must follow all of the voter-approved changes to the Ohio Constitution to curb gerrymandering. That includes Section 6, which required the commission to attempt to match the statewide voting preferences of Ohioans.
Justice Melody Stewart, writing for the majority, defined Ohio’s statewide preferences as about 54% of voters preferring GOP candidates and about 46% preferring 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,” she wrote.
Senate President Matt Huffman, R-Lima, said he hasn’t yet read the decision himself. “Our lawyers are trying to figure out what it will take for us to comply with whatever it is that the court ordered.”