Breaking: Unanimous 3-Judge Court, in 300-Page Opinion, Strikes Ohio Congressional Districts as Unconstitutional Partisan Gerrymanders

You can find the opinion at this link. From the introduction:

We join the other federal courts that have held partisan gerrymandering unconstitutional and developed substantially similar standards for adjudicating such claims. We are convinced by the evidence that this partisan gerrymander was intentional and effective and that no legitimate justification accounts for its extremity. Performing our analysis district by district, we conclude that the 2012 map dilutes the votes of Democratic voters by packing and cracking them into districts that are so skewed toward one party that the electoral outcome is predetermined. We conclude that the map unconstitutionally burdens associational rights by making it more difficult for voters and certain organizations to advance their aims, be they pro-Democratic or pro-democracy. We conclude that by creating such a map, the State exceeded its powers under Article I of the Constitution. Accordingly, we declare Ohio’s 2012 map an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander, enjoin its use in the 2020 election, and order the enactment of a constitutionally viable replacement. 

I suspect that Ohio, as Michigan just did when faced with a similar ruling, will ask the United States Supreme Court to stay this ruling pending the decision in the pending partisan gerrymandering cases out of North Carolina and Maryland. I expect the Court will grant that request.

What the Supreme Court ends up doing here is uncertain, but it is quite remarkable how many lower courts, many of them unanimous, have now issued decisions, along similar contours, finding partisan gerrymandering to violate one or more provisions of the U.S. Constitution.

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