Republicans Win Ohio Voting-Map Case as Supreme Court Tosses Ruling

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Supreme Court tossed out a lower court ruling that would have required Ohio’s congressional voting map to be redrawn to be less favorable to Republicans.The move is part of the fallout from the high court’s decision...

Republicans Win Ohio Voting-Map Case as Supreme Court Tosses Ruling

Republicans Win Ohio Voting-Map Case as Supreme Court Tosses Ruling(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Supreme Court tossed out a lower court ruling that would have required Ohio’s congressional voting map to be redrawn to be less favorable to Republicans.The move is part of the fallout from the high court’s decision in June insulating partisan gerrymanders from constitutional challenges. A three-judge panel had thrown out a GOP-drawn Ohio map under which Republicans have won 12 of the 16 congressional seats in each of the last four elections.The Supreme Court’s June 27 ruling in a North Carolina case said federal judges lack authority to strike down voting maps as excessively partisan. The ruling was 5-4, with the court’s five Republican-appointed members in the majority.“We have no commission to allocate political power and influence in the absence of a constitutional directive or legal standards to guide us in the exercise of such authority,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court in that case.Dissenting Justice Elena Kagan said partisan gerrymanders “debased and dishonored our democracy, turning upside-down the core American idea that all governmental power derives from the people.”‘Snake on the Lake’The groups challenging the Ohio map, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, conceded to the Supreme Court that the June ruling required dismissal of their case.The Ohio map includes several bizarrely shaped districts, including one along Lake Erie that has been dubbed “the snake on the lake.” Two Republican-held districts near Cincinnati split the area in what the three-judge panel described as a “strange, squiggly, curving shape, dividing its Democratic voters and preventing them from forming a coherent voting bloc.”The three-judge panel issued its ruling in May, while the Supreme Court was deliberating over the North Carolina case. The high court put the Ohio ruling on hold days later.The Ohio case is Householder v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, 19-70, and Chabot v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, 19-110.To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Stohr in Washington at gstohr@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Laurie Asséo, Anna EdgertonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.