Court: No Need For Neutrality In Drawing Political Districts

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In a defeat for Democrats, the Ohio Supreme Court has let a newly drawn state legislative map stand.  

In a 4-3 ruling Tuesday, a divided court said Ohio's Constitution doesn't require political neutrality in drafting new House and Senate districts.      

Democrats brought the challenge on behalf of a group of voters.

They argued the Republican-dominated Ohio Apportionment Board intentionally sought political advantage through the maps as prohibited in the Ohio Constitution.               

Republicans argued Ohio's Constitution asks the board to consider minimizing county, township, city and precinct splits but sets no absolute rule.   

The litigation said maps of 99 House and 33 Senate districts split cities, counties and other community units more than 250 times.  

The court had delayed its ruling in the case so not to impact the 2012 election.