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ACLU sues Ohio over alleged 'egregious' gerrymandering of congressional map in GOP's favor

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Gov. John Kasich was one of the Ohio Republican leaders named as a defendant in the American Civil Liberties Union's gerrymandering lawsuit. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the state of Ohio over its congressional map, which the ACLU called “one of the most egregious gerrymanders in recent history,” The Hill reported.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, claims that the map is drawn in a way that gives Republicans a district advantage that does not reflect the vote totals of the past 10 years.

“Such gerrymandering not only violates democratic principles but is unconstitutional,” the lawsuit read.

What’s the story?

Ohio’s current map was drawn after the 2010 Census, and as currently constructed, “has consistently given Republicans 75% of the congressional seats” even though Republicans have only gotten 51 to 59 percent of the state’s votes in congressional elections, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that the map was drawn in secret only by Republicans, with the assistance of the national party, and that it unnecessarily splits major cities and districts in order to give the GOP an advantage.

"The goal was to design a map that would establish a 12-4 Republican to Democratic seat ratio throughout the decade for Ohio’s U.S. congressional delegation,” the lawsuit claims. "The 12-4 map was drawn in secret in a hotel room, nicknamed 'the bunker' by the map drawers, to which only Republicans had access.”

The ACLU hopes that, as a result of the lawsuit, the map will be redrawn for the 2020 election.

Pennsylvania’s gerrymandering case

Pennsylvania’s congressional map was ruled to be an unconstitutional gerrymander, and the state Supreme Court released a new map for the state in February.

President Donald Trump earned 48.6 percent of the state’s votes in the 2016 election, but the GOP held 13 out of the state’s 18 House seats.

"This new map will finally allow Pennsylvanians the opportunity to choose their elected officials and have a congressional delegation that more accurately reflects the political desires of the people,” former Attorney General Eric Holder said at the time.

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