COLUMBUS, Ohio — On Sunday evening, the ACLU of Ohio, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Covington & Burling LLP filed a motion to intervene as defendants in a federal lawsuit, Michael Gonidakis v Ohio Redistricting Commission. The voting rights groups request that the Court stay this case pending final resolution of the proceedings before the Ohio Supreme Court.
The motion and answer were filed on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Ohio and the A. Philip Randolph Institute.
“We weigh in to prevent the parties — on both sides — from attempting to evade the application of the Ohio Constitution, the multiple rulings from the Ohio Supreme Court, and the will of Ohioans who voted to end gerrymandering,” noted Freda Levenson, legal director for the ACLU of Ohio. “The redistricting process is currently, and properly, before the Ohio Supreme Court.”
“The Ohio Supreme Court is currently adjudicating Ohio’s legislative redistricting process in a timely and firm manner. This federal suit is political operatives’ attempt to end-run the mandate from Ohio voters to draw a fair and constitutionally compliant map,” said Jen Miller, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio.
Per the motion, “By filing suit in this Court while the Ohio Redistricting Commission is under a state-court order to adopt constitutionally compliant district plan for the Ohio General Assembly, Plaintiffs would undermine ongoing redistricting litigation before the Ohio Supreme Court…The Ohio Supreme Court has jurisdiction over that ongoing litigation, in which it has recently stricken plans enacted by the Commission Defendants, and is actively exercising judicial review over the drawing and enactment of a constitutionally compliant district plan.”
“We file this motion to prevent the parties from trying to bypass the Ohio Supreme Court. To have the rejected, gerrymandered legislative map in place would be a disgrace to democracy and the people of Ohio,” said Andre Washington, president of the Ohio A. Philip Randolph Institute.
PRESS CONTACT: Shannon Augustus | 202-768-9578 | [email protected]
The Latest from the League
The League joined Common Cause and Project Vote on an amicus brief to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in the case of A. Phillip Randolph Inst.
In a win for voters, a federal judge ruled to restore early voting hours that had been cut in Ohio. The move, which comes just in time for the November election, follows tireless work on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Ohio and its partners.