Ohio Supreme Court: New legislative districts are constitutional

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Supreme Court today ruled the state's new legislative districts are constitutional, turning back a challenge brought by a former congressman and Democrats, who questioned the lines drawn by Gov. John Kasich and the Republican-controlled apportionment board.

"In making our determination, we accord the apportionment board the deference it is afforded by the constitution in attempting to take into account various federal and state requirements by placing the burden on one challenging an apportionment plan to establish its unconstitutionality beyond a reasonable doubt," Justice Terrence O'Donnell wrote in the majority decision. "Relators have failed to adduce sufficient, credible proof to carry this heavy burden."

But the decision was split, 4-3, with O'Donnell, Justices Judith Ann Lanzinger and Robert Cupp and Appeals Court Judge John R. Willamowski concurring and Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor and Justices Yvette McGee Brown and Paul Pfeifer joining in the dissent.

"... Whichever political party has a majority of the members of the apportionment board uses apportionment to favor their partisan interests," Justice McGee Brown wrote. "The majority's decision today ensures this will continue."

For the complete story, read Wednesday's Vindicator and Vindy.com

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