Ohio State Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor is right. And, knowing that her age means her time in that seat is coming to an end, it seems she feels more free to do so.
Last week, she used her final annual court address to say Buckeye State’s efforts to curb gerrymandering aren’t working and that voters must once again amend the constitution to eliminate politics from the process altogether.
“Now I’m not going to lose an election again, we know that for sure,” O’Connor joked. “And if I can last 105 more days, I think I have a new Ohio State record.”
While it’s a shame to see her go, it’s encouraging that she’s been using her last few days at work to say what so many Ohioans understand to be true. The people responsible for drawing up the maps of the constitutional electoral districts intentionally failed to do the job that the voters expected of them; and something has to change.
O’Connor suggests that members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission be “reasonable people who are not driven by politics but rather by what is right”, as she requested “Fair representation and justice.”
It’s encouraging to know that O’Connor plans to spend time once she leaves the state Supreme Court working to secure such an amendment for Ohio.
Unfortunately, it appears that the very purpose of the commission members blatantly thumbing their noses at Ohio voters was to make it harder to achieve what is best for Ohioans, rather than what is best for a small but shamefully powerful group of politicians. Yet there is enough hope that people will take O’Connor’s words to heart that such obstacles can be overcome. We definitely have to try.