Posted: October 18, 2011
Ohio Supreme Court Allows Referendum to Proceed in Redistricting Case
In an opinion released October 14, the Ohio Supreme Court granted the writ of mandamus requested by Ohioans for Fair Districts and Democratic legislators. The court's ruling compels the Ohio Secretary of State to treat recently passed redistricting legislation by the Republican-controlled General Assembly as subject to referendum. Citing its own precedent and the text of the Ohio Constitutional provisions on referendum, the court determined that the inclusion of appropriations for current state expenses, in addition to the challenged redistricting sections, did not exempt the Act from the possibility of referendum. Under Article II, section 1c of the Ohio Constitution, challengers of the Act now have 90 days from the Act's passage to gather sufficient signatures for a referendum on the November 2012 ballot. WIth a March primary and a December 7 filing deadline for candidates, there remains much uncertainty about the future boundaries of Ohio's Congressional districts.