Gerrymandering supporter OK, say lawyers at firm hired by GOP leaders

Lawyers for the North Carolina Iaw firm hired by the two leading Ohio GOP lawmakers to defend the newly redesigned legislative districts have said “it’s open season for partisan gerrymandering” across America due to of a decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in 2019.

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough represent Speaker of the House Bob Cupp and Speaker of the Senate Matt Huffman, both Republicans of Lima, in challenges with the Ohio Supreme Court cards of the GOP that would likely preserve the current qualified majorities Republicans in both branches of the Ohio Legislature.

Lawyers for the Raleigh firm, part of one of the country’s largest legal groups with offices in multiple states, have represented their state’s legislative leaders in election disputes with the NAACP, Democratic officials and d ‘others. Lawyers in the Florida office have assisted Republicans in that state in the redistribution battles.

Two associates at the firm wrote an analysis of the United States Supreme Court’s June 27, 2019 5-4 decision – centered on partisan maps of North Carolina and Maryland – which said federal courts do not had no jurisdiction to adjudicate Congressional redistribution challenges solely on the basis of allegations of political partisanship.

Federal judges “are not equipped to distribute political power for the sake of fairness, and there is no basis for concluding that they were authorized to do so,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority .

The gist of that decision, in the opinion of North Carolina lawyers: “Partisan advantage is an allowed intent behind constituency choices, and the matter should be left to the legislature.”

Groups challenging the Ohio GOP legislative map will likely rely on the fact that the High Court’s decision concerned congressional districts, not state legislative boundaries, and did not prevent state courts to speak out on the issue of partisanship. The 2015 Ohio Constitution Amendment that changed the redistribution process – overwhelmingly approved by voters – also includes language that districts should reflect the partisan outcome of recent elections across the country. the state.

However, Cupp, Huffman, and their legal team now argue that such leadership is simply “ambitious,” not legally required.

The two are also represented by Taft, Stettinius & Hollister of Cincinnati.

No, this is not the latest redistribution plan adopted by Ohio House President Bob Cupp, R-Lima.  This is actually a graph showing the amounts of funding for schools at a press conference in 2019.

Do Republicans have a hidden motive for not considering the race for new districts?

Ohio Democrats protested when Republicans claimed they didn’t even consider racial makeup when they formed new legislative districts.

But there may be a hidden legal strategy going on here.

While the United States Supreme Court has apparently precluded partisanship-based legal challenges, racial gerrymandering laws are still in effect. However, even a map that ends up split on a racial basis could prove legal if Republicans simply argue that they were only looking at partisanship, not race.

“The Supreme Court created this weird binary – if it’s on the racial side it’s bad, but if it’s on the partisan side it’s okay,” Michael Li of the Brennan Center for Social Justice in New York City told the Associated Press.

Indeed, GOP lawmakers in the North Carolina legislature said early on that they would not use racial data to prepare district maps.

Ohio Republican leaders also maintain that they have never analyzed the partisan balance of their proposed maps for the House and Senate districts; they ended up with districts in which the GOP is expected to hold 67 of the 99 seats in the Ohio House and 25 of the 33 seats in the Ohio Senate.

Judge Julia Smith Gibbons of the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Court of Appeals testified before a U.S. Senate committee in July 2013 about court budget cuts.

Five Ohio-based federal judges appointed over improper financial disputes

A member of an Ohio-based federal appeals court was one of only two appellate judges in the country who technically broke a 1974 law by not recusing themselves from lawsuits involving companies in which they- same or a member of their family owned the shares, a Wall Street Journal investigation found.

Judge Julia Smith Gibbons of the Cincinnati-based 6th United States Court of Appeals wrote a favorable opinion for Ford Motor Co. in trademark dispute as her husband held shares in the automaker , according to the Journal. After she and the other members of a three-judge panel heard arguments, but before they made a decision, her husband’s financial advisor twice bought up to Ford shares worth up to at $ 15,000 for his retirement account, his financial disclosure form showed.

The person appointed in 2002 by President George W. Bush told the Journal that she mistakenly believed that the holdings in her husband’s retirement account did not require his recusal. Gibbons, of Memphis, then asked the 6th Circuit clerk to notify those involved in the lawsuit of her violation, adding that her husband had since told his financial adviser not to buy individual stocks.

“I regret my misunderstanding, but I assure you it was honest,” she said.

In addition to the two appellate court judges, the Journal found that 129 district court judges also violated post-Watergate statute. That list included Justices Michael Barrett, Susan Dlott and Walter Rice of the Cincinnati-based District Court. Barrett and Dlott both ordered the clerk of the court to notify the parties in each case of the conflicts.

Rice told the Journal, “I think the fact that three cases have come down to me indicates that the system is not working perfectly. I think the system should work perfectly. It’s not just about avoiding apparent or real conflicts. , but it’s about maintaining respect for justice. “

Cleveland-based District Court Judge James Gwinn was also cited.

The Cleveland Clinic received by far the most money from a federal program approved last year to help healthcare providers financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

Find out which hospitals in Ohio are getting the most COVID relief money

Ohio hospitals have received more than $ 3 billion so far, up from $ 178 billion allocated by Congress and the Trump administration last year to ease the financial burden of the COVID-19 pandemic for health care providers.

Here's what Ohio's congressional districts would look like under a plan rolled out by Democrats in the state Senate on Wednesday.  The plan has no chance of passing the Republican-dominated legislature.

Topping the list compiled by the STAT newsletter: The Cleveland Clinic, whose $ 406 million is ranked eighth in the United States

Buckeye State’s other biggest beneficiaries of the Provider Relief Fund:

• Ohio State University Hospitals – $ 134 million

• OhioHealth, parent company of large hospitals such as Grant and Riverside in Columbus, as well as smaller hospitals in localities such as Marion, Circleville and Mansfield – $ 119 million

• Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati – $ 92 million

• Mount Carmel Health System, Westerville – $ 74 million

• National Children’s Hospital, Columbus – $ 74 million

Not all federal funds have been released. The last round was $ 25.5 billion allocated in mid-September.

Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman of Ohio were among 43 senators who urged the Biden administration in late August to further distribute the money that had been set aside in 2020.

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