What could happen with redistricting and a possible abortion amendment in Ohio under this new legislature?
With the midterms behind us, Ohio's lame duck session is underway. Lawmakers are considering bills that could strip power from the State Board of Education, change the rules for ballot issues that amend the state constitution, and more. Republicans have supermajorities in both the state House and Senate, and that will have a big impact on what passes and what fails.
In the meantime, the make-up of the Ohio Supreme Court is changing, with Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor leaving Dec. 31 due to age limits. The Republican justice was often a swing vote with Democrats, including recent redistricting cases, where she sided with Democrats in voting that maps put forth by the redistricting commission were heavily gerrymandered to favor Republicans. With Republican Justice Sharon Kennedy voted in as the court's new chief justice, what will happen when lawmakers craft new district lines in 2024?
Plus, reproductive rights groups in Ohio are looking at placing a proposed amendment before voters to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution. On election night, voters in Michigan approved a constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights. In Kentucky, voters said "no" to a proposed amendment that would have said there is no right to an abortion under the state constitution. What does this say for the chances of an amendment in Ohio?
On Cincinnati Edition we take a closer look at these stories post-election.
- Jessie Balmert, reporter, USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau
- Andy Chow, news editor, Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau
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