Editorial: Ohio sound and fury signifying nothing

A recent editorial by the Toledo Blade:

When state government works correctly Ohio is an acronym for only-handle-it-once.

There is no better current example of dysfunctional, never ending, dispute in Ohio governance than the congressional districts for the November election.

The state Supreme Court struck down the Republican-drawn districts Tuesday for the second time. By a 4-3 vote the state high court ruled the Congressional districts that will be in effect for the 2022 election are unconstitutional because they were created to give Republicans an advantage.

The court ordered the General Assembly to submit a new map within 30 days. Lawmakers have adjourned to campaign. If the legislature ignores the court, the Ohio Redistricting Commission, authors of the current partisan districts, will once again draw 15 congressional districts.

Meanwhile, the composition of the Ohio Supreme Court will change in 2023 with the exit of Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, a Republican who has consistently joined Democratic justices in ruling the congressional districts do not meet the standard set by Ohio voters when they amended the state constitution to eliminate gerrymandered state and federal legislative districts.

“It’s all sound and fury signifying nothing,” as Shakespeare would tell us. The 2023 Ohio Supreme Court will have jurisdiction over 2024 Congressional districts.

To put it bluntly, the court decision will not be permitted to enforce the will of voters.

The state politicians who will draw those districts have already shown us they put personal partisan interests above the clear intent of Ohio voters to maximize the power of citizens through competitive legislative elections.

And districts the founding fathers intended to serve voters for a full 10 years between census driven changes, will differ after more litigation.

In Ohio, if you’re not a cynic, you’re not paying attention.

— Toledo Blade, July 19, 2022