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Voting Rights Groups File Motion to Intervene in Federal Lawsuit for Ohio State Maps

Groups File Motion to Intervene Seeking to Institute Gerrymandered Legislative Maps and Bypass the Ohio Supreme Court

Press Release / Last Updated:

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.

Click the links to read the motion to intervene and the answer.

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PRESS CONTACT: Shannon Augustus | 202-768-9578 | [email protected] 

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