Federal Judge Dismisses Ohio’s Lawsuit To Force Release Of Census Data

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — A federal judge has dismissed Republican Attorney General Dave Yost’s lawsuit against the Biden administration to force the results of last year’s Census to be released by the end of this month.

A 2020 Census Form
A Census form [U.S. Census Bureau]
Ohio hoped to start drawing new legislative and Congressional maps soon, for the first time under a process approved by voters.

But the legal battle isn’t over.

Congressional maps are redrawn after a census, and the Census Bureau said its data won’t be available till September. Yost sued to return to the March 31 legal deadline.

But Southern District of Ohio Judge Thomas Rose wrote there won’t be a decision on whether Ohio will have 16 or 15 representatives in Congress till later in the year.

Rose noted the Ohio constitution has other ways to draw maps without census data, and the state not having a flexible map-drawing schedule because of the pandemic is not the administration’s problem.

He also wrote about the state’s frustration in not having the data isn’t concrete harm, so Ohio doesn’t have standing to sue.

The Attorney General’s office has appealed the ruling.