The Ohio Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit filed by General Assembly Democrats challenging the final redistricting plan for the 2012 elections; however, the state’s highest court will hear the Democrats challenge as it pertains to future elections.
House Democrats argued that the legislative district maps that he Apportionment Board approved last year violated the Ohio Constitution because it excessively divided local political subdivisions. They also asserted that the Republican-dominated Apportionment Board violated Ohio’s open meeting laws.
The court’s decision last Friday dismissed the open meetings claim and ruled that it was required to dismiss claims that could upset the 2012 elections and under the “laches doctrine” meaning the Democrats waited too long to bring suit and therefore any change to the legislative maps would seriously disrupt the 2012 elections.
However, the court agreed 6-1 that it will consider the Democrats’ constitutional claims looking towards the 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020 elections.
House Minority Leader Armond Budish (D-Beachwood) and Senate Minority Leader Eric Kearney (D-Cincinnati) released a joint statement applauded the courts willingness to review the constitutionally of the future maps.
Meanwhile Mike Dittoe, spokesman for Ohio House Speaker Bill Bachelder said he was pleased that the court would not interfere with the legislative maps for the 2012 election.