The Ohio Supreme Court has made a long-awaited decision on whether the maps for state House and Senate districts drawn by elected leaders last year are valid. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.
The sharply split court upheld the maps of legislative districts. Democrat Yvette McGee Brown joined Republicans Robert Cupp and Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor in the minority, disagreeing with the majority that the maps did not unnecessarily divide political subdivisions. Auditor David Yost is the chair of the five-member apportionment board, which drew the maps.
YOST: “I’m happy for the people of the state for the legal uncertainties around this resolved. But I really think that now is the time to reform the process.”
House Minority Leader Armond Budish of suburban Cleveland was among the Democrats who argued the maps for the 99 House and 33 Senate districts unconstitutionally split up the state to benefit the Republicans who drew them.
BUDISH: “The board sliced and diced governmental units 255 times. Clearly the apportionment board ignored the constitutional requirements and the court sadly approved it.”
Budish cites the results of the 2012 election as proof the maps aren’t fair and representative -- Democrats President Obama and Sen. Sherrod Brown won Ohio, and significantly more votes were cast for Democratic legislative candidates. But Republicans still control the majority in the House and Senate. But House Speaker Bill Batchelder of Medina writes in a statement that the decision is “recognition that the current system was done fairly and appropriately.” But Batchelder also says he does think the process needs to be reviewed and examined for possible reform.