On Friday, the Ohio Supreme Court struck down a redistricting proposal endorsed by Ohio Republicans.

Background: The new maps, drawn by the Republican-controlled state legislature after the redistricting commission came to an impasse in November, was accused of favoring one party. At least 12 of Ohio’s 16 congressional districts would have favored Republicans under the legislature’s proposed map. (per The Hill)

On Wednesday, the state Supreme Court struck down legislative district lines on the same basis that the lines unduly favored one party.

What Happened: The state Supreme Court came to a narrow 4-3 ruling, the majority concluded that the boundary lines violated a voter-approved measure in 2018.

[T]he evidence in these cases makes clear beyond all doubt that the General Assembly did not heed the clarion call sent by Ohio voters to stop political gerrymandering,” Justice Michael Donnelly wrote for the majority.

What Comes Next: The majority-Republican legislature must now come up with another map proposal in 30 days that will pass in court.

If the legislature is unable to come up with final district lines, the voter-created redistricting commission consisting of Republican Governor Mike Dewine, Republican Auditor Keith Faber, Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose, and four representatives from the legislature will have 30 days to craft their own maps. (per The Hill)

What Democrats Say: Democrats called the ruling a win.

“It is time for the state legislature to put aside partisan interests and prioritize the needs of Ohio voters. It is time for legislative leaders to put aside their personal partisan interests and create truly fair and representative maps that reflect Ohio,” said Catherine Turner from Common Cause Ohio. “The manipulation of districts is the manipulation of elections and voters have had enough.”

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