Ohio Republicans took a constitutional amendment on redistricting to the voters in 2018, and it passed overwhelmingly. Of course, with the GOP having a two-thirds supermajority in the state House and Senate, when the "bi-partisan" vote for redistricting went south, the "independent" redistricting commission formed to rectify the situation was made entirely of Republicans, along with GOP Governor Mike DeWine. It should have been a slam dunk for permanent Republican rule in the state, except for one thing...
The state's Supreme Court got the final say on the redistricting maps. And despite a 4-3 Republican majority on the bench, Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor is siding with the court's three Democrats to declare the maps unconstitutional. In fact, the state GOP is now 0-3 as of this week, putting the state's scheduled May 3 primaries in jeopardy.
House Republicans are discussing whether to impeach Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor after the Ohio Supreme Court rejected a third set of legislative maps and effectively ended all hope of a full May 3rd primary.
The court struck down the maps on Wednesday with O'Connor as the deciding vote, sending the Ohio Redistricting Commission back to the drawing board for the fourth time. A ruling on the latest congressional maps is expected any day.
O'Connor, a Republican, is seen as an independent voice on the court and sided with Democrat justices to throw out multiple sets of maps, arguing they did not comply with constitutional rules for redistricting. That's increasingly made her a target of fellow party members who contend she's shirking her responsibilities.
"It's time to impeach Maureen O'Connor now," Rep. Scott Wiggam, R-Wayne County, tweeted Thursday.
An email from a Republican state central committee member, obtained by USA TODAY Network Ohio, said an unnamed lawmaker disclosed that they would be filing an impeachment charge against O'Connor. Multiple House Republicans said there have been discussions about the matter, but it's unclear if any decisions have been made.
"I don’t understand what the woman wants," said state Rep. Sara Carruthers, R-Hamilton.
A statehouse insider, who requested anonymity to discuss the situation candidly, also confirmed Republican lawmakers are mulling impeachment and may move forward in the coming days.
"I don't know if it moves or not," the source said. "Judging by conversations I'm aware of, there is growing support for this move. I don't know if there's enough."