Local lawmakers react to Ohio Supreme Court’s ruling on state’s legislative district maps

MIAMI VALLEY — The Ohio Supreme Court says the state’s redistricting commission has to go back to the drawing board.

The commission had to change the size and shape of Ohio’s legislative districts, something that happens every 10 years based on the latest census data. After several lawsuits challenging the new maps reached the Ohio Supreme Court, justices said in a 4-3 decision Wednesday that the maps favored Republicans too heavily.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: New Ohio legislative district maps unconstitutional and need re-drawn, Supreme Court says

State Representative Willis Blackshear, Jr. (D-Dayton), told News Center 7′s John Bedell that he agreed with the Ohio Supreme Court’s decision.

“I believe that the decision was made possible by the hundreds of Ohioans who came and testified that these maps didn’t live up to the reforms that we overwhelming voted for in 2015 and 2018,” Blackshear said.

On the other side of the aisle, State Senator Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) said the commission will have to listen to the Ohio Supreme Court and go back to the drawing board.

“The redistricting commission has to listen to the [Ohio] Supreme Court. They are the final arbitrator about these state legislative maps,” Antani said. “And so the redistricting commission is going to have to come up with a constitutionally complaint map.”

>> Supreme Court halts COVID-19 vaccine rule for US businesses

As of Thursday, he seven-person commission, made up of elected officials in Columbus, has nine days to re-draw legislative maps for the Ohio House and Senate.

Both Antani and Blackshear said they are hopeful the commission would be able to meet the deadline.

“I believe the work should have started as soon as the decision was made,” Blackshear said. “I do have confidence that they will be able to make a quick turnaround.”