Toledo Blade: More frivolous impeachment follies

If anyone deserves to be impeached, it’s not Maureen O’Connor, the Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice. Instead the members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission, and the state legislators behind them, ought to resign.

Chief Justice O’Connor is doing her job. She’s enforcing constitutional amendments passed by Ohio voters. She’s doing the will of the people which the majority of legislators and the redistricting commission have been unwilling to acknowledge.

The will of the people was expressed not once, but twice, in votes in 2015 and 2018. Those votes called for the production of fair redistricting maps that did not favor one party.

The majority of the court voted to strike down, again, state legislative maps. That’s the impetus for the impeachment calls. Never mind that the majority of Ohio voters voted for fair maps to be drawn. And the court set out, clearly, in earlier rulings this year what it would take to create acceptable maps. That guidance was rejected.

The court isn’t making law, it is enforcing the law.

The game over the maps is getting a bit ridiculous. So is the impeachment game nationally and in Ohio. The losers of a battle seek to impeach, even if impeachment is impossible. Those efforts simply waste time that should be spent on important legislative issues.

Gov. Mike DeWine is right to oppose the impeachment talk. There was talk of impeaching him over the coronavirus restrictions in Ohio. He gets the essential frivolous and self-defeating nature of these efforts.

“No matter how much we may disagree with a court decision by a judge or a panel of judges of the Supreme Court…, this is an extraordinary measure to take,” DeWine said.

It must be said, in fairness, he contributed to the election fiasco now before us by not insisting on constitutional legislative maps.

The May 3 primary won’t include General Assembly races. The additional cost to taxpayers of a second primary wouldn’t be necessary if commission members had done their jobs in the first place.

The standards voters expected were clear. Partisan jockeying fought the will of voters. Partisan jockeys want the chief justice impeached for doing her job.

Taxpayers will end up footing the bill for this shambles, with added primaries and perhaps more court cases.

Ohio’s leaders need to lead. They must get on the page with the people who cried out for redistricting reform.

The redistricting commission and legislators must finally do the right thing.

The Ohio Supreme Court already has.

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Toledo Blade