COLUMBUS, Ohio — Today, the ACLU of Ohio, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Covington & Burling LLP filed a motion for stay in a federal lawsuit filed on Friday morning, Michael Gonidakis v. Ohio Redistricting Commission. The voting rights groups request that the Court stay this case pending the Commission’s map drawing and all proceedings before the Ohio Supreme Court.
The motion, filed on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Ohio and the A. Philip Randolph Institute notes, “It would be inappropriate for this Court to hear this case at the present time, given the ongoing state redistricting and corresponding litigation pending before the Ohio Supreme Court.
“There is no question that the Ohio Supreme Court is adjudicating, and closely supervising, Ohio’s legislative redistricting process. This federal suit is an attempted end run around both the Supreme Court and the Commission and serves no legitimate purpose. It seeks to supplant the Court and the Commission from their proper roles, and to implement a map that has already been thrown out as an unconstitutional gerrymander,” noted Freda Levenson, legal director for the ACLU of Ohio.
Just hours ago, the Ohio Supreme Court ordered the members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission to appear in-person for a hearing on March 1, regarding its failure to comply with the Court’s February 7 order.
“Our case before the Ohio Supreme Court continues to evolve every day in a meaningful and substantive way. We ask the Court to prevent this federal suit from advancing until Ohio’s redistricting proceedings have concluded. The Commission cannot bypass the Ohio Constitution or ignore Ohio voters who fought so hard to end gerrymandering,” said Jen Miller, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio.
“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.
Read the motion for stay below.