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Ohio high court orders redistricting maps be redrawn a fifth time

April 15 (UPI) -- The divided Ohio Supreme Court has rejected a fourth set of state congressional redistricting maps, ruling they still violate the sate's constitution as they are little changed from its predecessors.

In a 4-3 decision on Thursday, the Ohio's high court ordered the Republican-leaning redistricting commission to return to the drawing board to fashion a fifth set of new maps by May 6, which falls days after Ohio holds its primary elections.

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The court first threw out the state's maps in January for disproportionately favoring the Republican Party. The next month, the justices struck down the revised maps as "the commission's choice to avoid a more proportional plan point unavoidably toward an intent to favor the Republican party."

Then again in March, the court threw out the maps, then called the second revised plan, for the same reason.

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In its decision Thursday, the majority said that while the commission took its advice from the March ruling concerning establishing a bipartisan collaborative endeavor it eventually "devolved into the same one-sided partisan map-drawing process that led us to invalidate the previous three plans."

"Although the commission retained independent map drawers and held frequent meetings throughout the 12-day map-redrawing period, the commission ultimately readopted a modified version of the second revised plan that we invalidated," the majority wrote.

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"In sum, the third revised plan has not materially changed from the invalidated second revised plan."

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The American Civil Liberties Union had filed a motion challenging the maps on April 1, and celebrated the justices' ruling online.

"Like it or not, under our state's law, politicians do not get to choose their voters," it tweeted.

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