WASHINGTON, D.C. — The ACLU of Ohio making their case to the U.S. Supreme Court Monday why they don't think the court should grant the State of Ohio's request for a stay in the gerrymandering case that requires the legislature to draw new congressional district boundaries by June 14.
A three-judge panel in Federal Court in Cincinnati ordered the new districts after ruling in a case that the current districts were gerrymandered by Republicans for the benefit of Republicans. The Ohio Attorney General's office had previously asked the court to put a hold on the ruling until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on similar cases in Maryland and North Carolina that could impact the Ohio case, a ruling that will be handed down by the end of June.
The ACLU of Ohio in their filing Monday argued there's no harm in getting the process started.
"There's no need to have a stay of the court's order," said Freda Levenson, Legal Director of the ACLU of Ohio. "This is just a proposed map that the legislature would be enacting, no new law would come into effect, no new districting would occur. This is just a step, a preliminary step, in the redistricting process so there's no harm to the state in going forward and beginning work on this plan."
The state argued even if the Supreme Court upholds the lower court ruling there would still be time to redraw the districts in time for the 2020 election cycle if they waited until June 30. The ACLU argued: get the process started and use that time then for tweaks.
"There's plenty of time then to apply whatever ruling comes out of Maryland or North Carolina later, after the court rules," Levenson said.