Yesterday the Ohio Supreme Court struck down the state’s extremely gerrymandered General Assembly maps. I’m still giddy about our clients’ win so I’m going to talk about the promise of state constitutions!! /1
As you may know, the US Supreme Court ruled in Rucho v Common Cause that federal courts can’t hear partisan gerrymandering claims under the US Constitution. But they made clear that state courts, interpreting state constitutions, don’t have to follow SCOTUS’s lead. /2
[SCOTUS also made clear that Congress can act on its own to address partisan gerrymandering, and the Freedom to Vote Act would do just that. But that's a different tweet thread!] /3
Back to state constitutions! This power isn't unique to gerrymandering. State constitutions offer promise in everything from education =, to the rights of criminal defendants, to the right to vote. I wrote about this in the repro rights context @MsMagazine…
My favorite line: When it comes to protecting civil and human rights, the U.S. Constitution functions as a floor, not a ceiling. With state constitutions, you can build a skyscraper. /5
That’s exactly what the Ohio Supreme Court did. They enforced Ohio constitutional provisions requiring partisan fairness, and rejected the kind of “justiciability” arguments that SCOTUS used in Rucho. /6
Justice Brunner’s concurrence went even further, also arguing that the maps violated equal protection under the Ohio Constitution. The opinion and all the concurrences are worth a read. /7…
All this to say, there’s a relatively untapped opportunity for progressive constitutionalism right in front of us in the states. And this opportunity is only getting more important as SCOTUS becomes increasingly radical. /fin

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