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The Ohio supreme court ordered the state’s general assembly to redraw more maps that complied with the partisan fairness requirements in the Ohio constitution. It also denounced the consequences of gerrymandering.

“Gerrymandering is the antithetical perversion of representative democracy. It is an abuse of power,” Justice Michael Donnelly, a Democrat. “Its singular allure is that it locks in the controlling party’s political power while locking out any other party or executive office from serving as a check and balance to power.”

“When the dealer stacks the deck in advance, the house usually wins,” he also wrote. “That perhaps explains how a party that generally musters no more than 55 percent of the statewide popular vote is positioned to reliably win anywhere from 75 percent to 80 percent of the seats in the Ohio congressional delegation. By any rational measure, that skewed result just does not add up.”

Ohio Republicans had insisted that the districts they drew were competitive, but the majority of justices said that requirement appears nowhere in the constitution.

The Ohio supreme court struck down the state’s new congressional districts on Friday, saying they were so egregiously distorted to benefit Republicans that they violated the state’s constitution.

The 4-3 ruling marked the first time during the 2021 redistricting cycle where new congressional districts have been blocked. Republicans had been poised to win 12 of the state’s 15 congressional districts, in a state where Republicans usually win a little more than half of the statewide vote.

Writing for the majority, Justice Michael Donnelly, a Democrat, wrote that the map violated a provision of the state’s constitution that says districts can’t be drawn in a way that “unduly favorsor disfavors a political party or its incumbents.” The districts also violated a provision that says districts can’t “unduly” split counties.

Voters amended the state constitution to add those provisions in 2018 along with a new procedure meant to foster bipartisanship in redistricting. This is the first redistricting cycle that they are in effect.

Republicans made little attempt to abide by them. The decision comes days after the court struck down new GOP-drawn state legislative districts for similar reasons.

The Republican senator who Anthony Fauci called a “moron” in a congressional hearing wants to introduce a bill both targeting and named after Joe Biden’s chief White House adviser.

Roger Marshall of Kansas will introduce the “Financial Accountability for Uniquely Compensated Individuals [Fauci – geddit] Act”, after claiming Fauci’s financial records were not readily accessible to the public.

The senator attacked Fauci on Tuesday.

“I don’t understand why you’re asking me that question,” said Fauci, 81. “My financial disclosure is public knowledge and has been so for the last 37 years or so.”

He also said: “All you have to do is ask for it. You’re so misinformed, it’s extraordinary.”

Fauci was then heard on a “hot mic” to say: “What a moron. Jesus Christ.”

Mediaite (@Mediaite)

HOT MIC MOMENT: After clashing with GOP Sen. Roger Marshall, Dr. Fauci was caught muttering, “what a moron,” followed by “Jesus Christ.” pic.twitter.com/merKU3BGAJ

January 11, 2022

In a statement, Marshall repeated attack lines pursued by Rand Paul of Kentucky – producing another confrontation with Fauci, and said: “Calling me a moron during a Senate hearing may have alleviated the stress of the least trusted bureaucrat in America, but it didn’t take away from the facts.”

The Center for Public Integrity subsequently said Marshall was wrong, but that Fauci’s records were not easy to obtain.

Another House Republican who voted to impeach Donald Trump will retire at the next election.

John Katko.
John Katko. Photograph: Reuters

John Katko of New York follows Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio in deciding to step down rather than take on a Trump-endorsed challenger for his seat.

Seven other House Republicans voted to impeach Trump for inciting the insurrection at the Capitol on 6 January, around which five people died and over which more than 725 people have been charged, 11 of them, yesterday, with sedition.

That made it the most bipartisan impeachment. Trump escaped conviction, however, when only seven Republican senators could be convinced to vote for his guilt.

The most prominent among the 10 members of the House who voted for impeachment is Liz Cheney, like Kinzinger a member of the select committee investigating 6 January, thereby confronting and infuriating pro-Trump party leaders. Cheney faces a Trump-backed primary challenger in Wyoming.

In a statement, Katko said he was retiring so he could “enjoy my family and life in a fuller and more present way”.

Source: This post first appeared on The Guardian

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