COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court heard three challenges to the legislative district maps Wednesday.

What You Need To Know

  • Three challenges were made to the Ohio legislative maps in front of the Ohio Supreme Court

  • The maps passed by the five Republican members of the commission ensure the GOP keeps a veto-proof supermajority at the Statehouse

  • There is no word on when the court will come up with a ruling

The seven justices listened to lawyers make their cases for and against the legislative maps passed by the Ohio Redistricting Commission.

Voting rights groups are trying to get the maps thrown out and redrawn after they say Republicans on the commission gerrymandered them to maintain their supermajority at the Statehouse.

Freda Levenson, representing the League of Women Voters of Ohio, said when a group of bipartisan voters overwhelmingly passed reforms in 2015, they wanted to make sure future maps would not favor one party over another. Yet, she said that did not happen.

"The redistricting commission refused to comply and enacted the egregiously partisan plan that's not before this court," said Levenson.

The maps passed by the five Republican members of the commission ensure the GOP keeps a veto-proof supermajority at the Statehouse despite winning just 54% of the vote the last 10 years. Phillip Strach, representing the Republican state lawmakers, said Republicans on the commission tried to compromise with Democrats but there was no deal to be made.

"This case is about the General Assembly district plan that was the most constitutionally compliant of all the plans that the commission considered,” said Strach. “No plan that was filed by the Democratic members of the commission fully complied with the constitution.”

The justices asked a number of questions to both sides.

Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor, a Republican, who is seen as a potential swing vote, may have hinted at how she feels about the case when speaking to the defense.

"Let's say we disagree with you and this court orders the commission to start over," O'Connor said. "Then what happens? You come up with a new map?"

Katy Shanahan with the voting rights group, "All on the Line,” was in the courtroom when O'Connor asked the question. She said she is trying to not get her hopes up.

"I would hesitate to sort of read the tea leaves,” said Shanahan. “Of course (O'Connor) will be an important player in this process as the chief justice certainly but also because she wrote in the dissenting opinion 10 years ago that would have actually overturned our existing map as a partisan gerrymander.”

Meanwhile, Levenson believes that line of questioning shows the justices are at least considering overturning the new maps.

"I'm very hopeful that the court is taking the facts and the law into account and will render a decision that enforces the constitution and requires the commission to follow the law and draw a map that complies with the voters' wishes that there be no more gerrymandering in the state," Levenson said.​

The hearing ended with O'Connor saying the matter will be taken under advisement.

There is no word on when the court will come up with a ruling, but the court did say that is aware of the February filing deadline for candidates who want to run in next year's elections.