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Ohio Supreme Court Rules the State’s Redistricting Commission Members Can Be Deposed
by J.D. Davidson
Republican members of Ohio’s redistricting commission will have to answer questions as part of three lawsuits challenging new state legislative district maps, the Ohio Supreme Court said.
Groups such as the League of Women Voters of Ohio, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Council on American-Islamic Relations filed lawsuits, claiming the legislative maps are unconstitutional and gerrymandered. The Ohio Supreme Court has jurisdiction over lawsuits that challenge redistricting.
The court ruled Republican members of the commission – Gov. Mike DeWine; Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima); House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima); Secretary of State Frank LaRose; and Auditor Keith Faber – must sit for one deposition each, lasting no longer than two hours.
The ruling also said depositions must be completed by Oct. 21, and commission members’ lawyers must respond to questions from the plaintiffs and document requests by Tuesday.
The third lawsuit was filed by the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, chaired by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
“Ohio has been one of the most gerrymandered states in the country for the past decade. Yet the state legislative maps adopted by Republicans in the dark of night are somehow worse still,” Holder said in a news release. “They utterly fail to meet either the letter or the spirit of the 2015 reform law. The proposed maps fail to reflect the makeup of the state as a whole and dilute the political power of communities of color.”