COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Supreme Court Justice Pat DeWine said Thursday that he will not recuse himself from cases involving new state legislative maps approved by his father, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine.
“There is no basis for me to do so,” the justice told The Columbus Dispatch in a text message. His decision was first reported by Spectrum News.
DeWine, also a Republican, explained that his father was just one of seven members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission that okayed the maps of Ohio House and Ohio Senate districts. That means the governor's influence was “considerably less” in crafting the maps than it would be over a state department.
Three separate lawsuits have been filed in the Ohio Supreme Court over the maps, which cleared the Republican-controlled redistricting panel along party lines. The Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct requires judges to disqualify themselves from any case in which their impartiality "might reasonably be questioned.”
Democrats accused the DeWine family of bending the rules for political gain.
“Even though Justice DeWine has recused himself before on cases involving his father, they’re deciding to play by a different set of rules now that the political future of our state is at stake,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Matt Keyes.