YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – On Friday, the Ohio Supreme Court rejected a new map of the state’s 15 congressional districts.
One justice wrote in the court’s decision that party favoritism extends from one end of the state to the other. The court ruled 4 to 3 against the map saying it favored Republicans.
It gave lawmakers 30 days to fix the plan.
The court also recommended new approaches in Hamilton, Cuyahoga and Summit counties.
New Bethel Baptist Church’s Reverend Kenneth Simon filed a federal lawsuit against the congressional maps. He said the maps diluted the Black vote.
Rev. Simon is now waiting as the federal court has 60 days to rule on the maps.
He said Friday’s ruling was a small victory in a larger battle. He added that he has a lot of respect for Justice O’Connor for voting against the maps, saying it restored his faith a bit in democracy in Ohio.
“It gives more hope because it’s the right thing and all the citizens are asking is to be fair, and that’s not what our elected officials are focused on right now. It’s just what favors one party over the other,” Rev. Simon said.
Rev. Simon does have concerns about how the new maps will be redrawn. Should they not have enough changes to properly represent voters, he said he’s ready to continue filing suit until they are done right.