FACTS:

Hours after the Ohio Redistricting Commission failed to adopt a new set of legislative maps by the Ohio Supreme Court’s February 17 deadline, a group of Republican voters filed a lawsuit in federal court. They claim that, with no new map in place, the old map adopted in 2010 is still in effect, leaving Ohio malapportioned. To remedy this, they ask a three-judge panel to adopt the second legislative plan adopted by the Commission (notwithstanding the fact that that plan was stricken by the Ohio Supreme Court as unconstitutional). We are not a party to this case, but wish to intervene to protect our clients’ rights in the ongoing redistricting process and state court litigation. 

ISSUES:

Our participation in this litigation is in support of our redistricting litigation efforts in the Ohio Supreme Court.

STATUS:

On February 18, Plaintiffs filed their Complaint along with a Motion for Preliminary Injunction. We filed a Motion to Intervene as Defendants on February 20, along with an Answer. We argue that the federal court’s involvement at this time is premature and unnecessary, considering the ongoing status of our Ohio Supreme Court case. The Bennett relators in our companion OSC case, the Simon parties, from a racial gerrymandering case in the Northern District of Ohio, and the minority members of the Commission also each moved to intervene on February 22. On February 23, Plaintiffs objected to the Simon parties’ Motion to Intervene. The Simon parties filed a reply an hour later. The Court ordered a status conference for the afternoon of Friday, February 25. On February 24 we filed a Motion to Stay pending the outcome of the state redistricting process.  On February 28, we filed a motion to continue the status conference from March 7 until March 14, given the ongoing process in the Ohio Supreme Court. On March 4, the Court entered an order granting our motion to intervene and postponing the next status conference until March 14.
 

Date filed

February 20, 2022

Court

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio

Status

Active