WASHINGTON, DC — Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) released the following statement after the Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 decision that fails to crack down on partisan gerrymandering that prevents voters from having their voices heard.
In May, a three-judge panel unanimously ruled that Ohio’s gerrymandered Congressional maps were unconstitutional and had to be redrawn because they were the result of partisan, Republican-drawn maps that disproportionately favored Republicans. The court ordered a new map to be drawn before the 2020 elections to ensure all Ohio voters would have their votes fairly represented in Congress.
Today’s decision by the Supreme Court reversed this and now means new, fair maps will not even have the opportunity to be drawn until 2022 when a new law governing how Ohio congressional districts are drawn takes effect in Ohio. Brown called today’s decision a slap in the face to Ohio voters.
“The Supreme Court failed Ohioans today. Voters should be picking their representatives, not politicians picking their voters,” said Brown. “This Supreme Court has repeatedly put its thumb on the scale of justice for corporations over workers, Wall Street over consumers, drug companies over patients and today politics over voters.”
Last year, Ohio voters overwhelmingly passed Issue 1 – a ballot initiative that aimed to limit partisan gerrymandering and implement controls to ensure Congressional districts make geographical sense and that both parties have a voice in the process. This new law will take effect beginning with the 2022 congressional elections.
Brown has long fought to protect the voice of every voter, and worked to expand voting rights in Ohio. As Ohio Secretary of State, Brown worked aggressively to increase voter registration in Ohio – even convincing McDonald’s to print voter registration forms on tray liners. The Washington Post once called Brown’s efforts to register voters in Ohio “probably the most intensive and wide-ranging in the nation.”