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Voting rights groups are calling for Ohio gerrymander congressional card lawsuit to be dropped

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio voting rights groups on Tuesday dismissed their lawsuit over Ohio’s unconstitutional congressional map, arguing that continuing legal wrangling over where to draw county boundaries is not in the best interests of Ohio voters. is.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Ohio and others, has told the Ohio Supreme Court that they are willing to live with the U.S. House card that was approved on March 2, 2022 and used in last year’s election. “(i)instead of the ongoing turmoil caused by cycles of map redraws and ensuing lawsuits.”

The Democrats scored victories on that map — securing five of the 15 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, compared to the four of the 16 they had previously held. Ohio had lost one seat in the 2020 census due to lagging population growth.

“The petitioners have no desire to launch another round of maps and challenges given Ohio’s recent history of map drawing,” Tuesday’s filing said.

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That history included the court’s rejection of two separate congressional maps and five sets of Statehouse maps — which spell out the districts for the Ohio House and Ohio Senate in Columbus — like gerrymander in favor of the ruling Republicans. Nevertheless, these cards had to be used to choose candidates in 2022, as the disagreements ended in legal limbo.

Since the voting proponents’ lawsuit was first filed early last year, the political landscape has only become more conservative. The Republican supermajority in the Statehouse grew, and the state’s Supreme Court, which would decide their case, saw the retirement of a Republican chief justice who had cast a decisive vote against cards aimed at the Republican Party.

The resignation request also comes as lawyers prepare a redistribution reform amendment for Ohio’s 2024 vote. After an initial rejection, the group Citizens Not Politicians resubmitted their petition on Tuesday.

Before Tuesday’s filing, the Ohio Supreme Court had asked both sides in the lawsuit to file briefs explaining how a June U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Ohio’s map would affect the state’s case. The country’s Supreme Court overturned the ruling in the case and ordered further consideration in light of its rejection days earlier in a North Carolina case of the so-called independent state legislature theory, which holds that legislatures have absolute power in setting the rules for federal elections. and cannot be overruled by state courts.

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