Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor said Thursday she plans to campaign to try to end gerrymandering in Ohio once she leaves office at the end of the year.
O’Connor commented Thursday on her future plans during her State of the Judiciary address, the final of her judicial career as she prepares to leave office due to judicial age limits. O’Connor, a Republican, was the swing vote in numerous Ohio Supreme Court rulings this year striking down GOP-drawn maps as illegally gerrymandered.
Meanwhile, advocates behind this year’s redistricting litigation also said Thursday they’re assessing their future options as state Republicans are on the cusp of ignoring yet another Ohio Supreme Court deadline to produce a constitutional map for future elections.
O’Connor’s decision to join the court’s Democrats in a series of 4-3 rulings angered Republicans, leading them to effectively excommunicate her from the party as they accused the majority of exceeding its legal authority. As the protracted redistricting litigation caused May’s state legislative primary to be delayed until August, state lawmakers in turn threatened to impeach O’Connor or slash the court’s budget. While they didn’t follow through on their threats, state legislative leaders have taken to effectively ignoring the court’s redistricting orders as they wait for O’Connor to leave office at the end of the year.