Why the rush to redraw Ohio’s district maps?

U.S. Supreme Court justices ought to be asking judges on a federal court in Ohio: What’s the rush?

Ohio’s congressional district boundaries must be redrawn, the three-judge panel has ordered. Its members contend the current districts represent unconstitutional gerrymandering meant to benefit Republican candidates.

But the judges ordered state officials to submit a new map by June 14. That is just a month away. Asked to grant an extension, the judges refused.

State Attorney General Dave Yost has said the order will be appealed to the Supreme Court, which will be asked to put the lower-level judges’ order on hold, pending high court rulings on similar matters.

Whether gerrymandering has occurred may be open to debate. Whether Ohio needs a new congressional district map by June 14 is not. There is no such need. Balloting for House of Representatives members is held every two years, with the next ones not scheduled until 2020. There is time.

Throwing together a new map by June 14 would invite even more partisan shenanigans, not to mention a substantial amount of human error.

Supreme Court justices should tell the lower court to stop being in such an unnecessary hurry, and to allow enough time to get the job done right.


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