Ohio’s top Republicans – Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp, of Lima; Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman, also of Lima; Republican state Sen. Rob McColley, of Napoleon; and Republican state Rep. Jeff LaRe, of Violet Township, Fairfield County, who assumed Cupp’s and Huffman’s positions on the redistricting commission earlier this year after Cupp and Huffman stepped away from the process – announced they are appealing the Ohio Supreme Court’s decision ruling the state’s congressional map unconstitutional to the U.S. Supreme Court. Ohio Republicans – including Governor Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Frank LaRose and Auditor Keith Faber who were also members of the commission – have literally ignored the Ohio Supreme Court’s numerous orders that all maps submitted were unconstitutional.
The Ohio Supreme Court gave the General Assembly 30 days to pass a new map, and if they couldn’t, the Ohio Redistricting Commission had another 30 days to do so. Neither the General Assembly nor the Ohio Redistricting Commission has made an attempt since the ruling to draw a new map.
In August, Cupp sent a letter to members of his chamber calling the deadlines a myth. He argued a deadline for new congressional maps “does not commence until all appeals are final,” including a deadline for appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court of 90 days from the date of the state supreme court decision. This appeal on Friday to the U.S. Supreme Court came within that 90 day window, which would have ended today, Monday, October 17th.
Huffman’s and Cupp’s news release announcement appeared to cite a legal theory – the “independent state legislature” theory – that would fundamentally undermine the anti-gerrymandering reform.
The “independent state legislature” theory argues that courts have no role in interpreting congressional district maps, even though Republican lawmakers, including Huffman, helped write the 2018 amendment to the Ohio Constitution that specifically gave the Ohio Supreme Court authority to enforce anti-gerrymandering rules contained in the reform.
Proponents of the independent state legislature theory, and Cupp and Huffman’s Friday news release, cite language in the U.S. Constitution that says state legislatures have the authority to determine the “time, place and manner” of picking congressional representatives.
- Ohio Republican legislative leaders appeal congressional map to U.S. Supreme Court | Ohio Capital Journal | 10.17.2022
- Ohio Republicans take fight over congressional district map to the U.S. Supreme Court | wvxu.org | 10.16.2022
- Ohio Republicans appeal congressional map to U.S. Supreme Court | Cincinnati.com | 10.14.2022
- Ohio Republican legislative leaders appeal Ohio Supreme Court gerrymandering decision to U.S. Supreme Court | Cleveland.com | 10.14.2022
- Ohio Republicans appeal congressional redistricting map to U.S. Supreme Court| Yahoo.com | 10.14.2022