U.S. judges order Ohio's Republican-drawn congressional districts revamped

(Reuters) - A panel of three federal judges on Friday ruled Ohio's Republican-drawn congressional map is based on unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering and ordered it to be redone before the 2020 presidential election.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio ordered the state to create a plan to fix the map by June 14. The ruling comes in a lawsuit brought last year by the League of Women Voters and the American Civil Liberties Union against the state's attorney general, challenging the state's congressional map in 2012 that benefited Republicans.

"We are convinced by the evidence that this partisan gerrymander was intentional and effective and that no legitimate justification accounts for its extremity," the court said.

In a similar ruling last week, a federal court in Michigan ordered that state's Republican-controlled legislature to redraw nearly three dozen state and U.S. congressional districts, ruling that the existing lines illegally dilute the power of Democratic voters.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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