It is a sweet, heavenly scent of victory that has permeated the atmosphere this morning since it became clear that Ohio’s redistricting battle was going to be won by Republicans. RedState previously reported (see Pain and Fear Commence after Surprise Ohio Redistricting decision), even though the Ohio Supreme Court struck down the maps that were drawn by GOP legislators, it was still a final judgement. This meant that any challenge of the maps would have to be filed as a separate lawsuit.
The primary is set for early May so the districts need to be completed by that date in order to qualify for the mid-terms of November. That hurdle meant that another lawsuit likely wouldn’t have enough time to progress, and that’s been confirmed after the Ohio Supreme Court released the timeline for any new challenge.
This schedule would seem to preclude a legal challenge to Ohio’s GOP map before the May primary, paving the way for a map as lopsided as 13R-2D to be used for the 2022 elections – unless a federal court intervenes. https://t.co/0n4OOUgRTP
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) March 29, 2022
You can almost hear the desperation in Dave Wasserman’s post as he pleads for a federal judge to intervene and presumably postpone the primaries. A lawsuit could take more than 60 days before it was even filed. The primary will be held May 3, which is just 30 days from now. Things don’t come close to lining up for the Democrats seeking to scuttle GOP plans to gerrymander the state.
And to be sure, it’s a gerrymander, but so what? New York City, Illinois, Maryland and California all have extremist gerrymanders. In fact, Republicans being favored in 10 of the 15 districts under the GOP’s new map is actually very tame compared to the other states I listed above (because 2022 is a red wave year, Republicans are more likely to take 12 of the 15 seats this go around).
I’ve long maintained that I don’t have a problem with gerrymandering. Drawn congressional districts are part of the war spoils. You win a state decisively and control the legislature and governor’s mansion? Then gerrymander away.
Partisan courts that attempt to make use of the Voting Rights Bill and other provisions, allowing blue states to draw what they like while red states are penalized for mild partisan leans only create problems. There’s nothing fair or just about that, and it’s allowing one side to rig the system while demanding the other side play by a different set of rules.
The Republican congressional map in Ohio is now in force for November, which is an enormous win. There was a possibility that some seats could have been won by Democrats if this had not happened. The courts of North Carolina forced a nearly even R to D split, despite Republicans controlling redistricting (a decision that is likely to be overturned by 2023), and Ohio’s gains will make a huge difference in Ohio for achieving the House majority.