Ohio Bar Association Objects to Redistricting Initiative

Thursday, 09 Aug 2012 02:13 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The Ohio State Bar Association is opposing a reform initiative on the ballot this fall that would allow appeals court judges to help select members of a commission charged with redrawing state congressional and legislative maps.

The bar association also objects to a proposal in the initiative to make the state Supreme Court responsible for the final adoption of the maps once approved by the commission, according to a report Thursday in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

“All of this undermines the importance of maintaining a fair, impartial and independent judiciary, a sacred and fundamental principle of our constitutional democracy,” the bar association said in a statement.

If approved by voters in November, a 12-member commission would be formed to draw new voting boundaries every 10 years following the U.S. Census. Lawmakers, who are now responsible for redrawing the districts, would not be allowed to serve on the panel.

Lobbyists, big political donors, and anyone else deemed to have a political conflict of interest in the final map determination would be barred from the commission as well.

The new commission redistricting law would take effect immediately if approved by voters, with the goal of having maps redrawn in time for the 2014 election.




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