COLUMBUS: A redistricting amendment on Ohioís fall ballot has the backing of some of Ohioís top lawyers and legal scholars.

Voters First, the committee backing the November issue, released an open letter Thursday signed by a dozen Ohio lawyers, including a former state bar association president.

Signers stand behind the amendmentís legal framework, which the Ohio State Bar Association has opposed.

The proposal would transfer control over Ohioís congressional and legislative maps from the state Legislature and Apportionment Board to a 12-member citizen commission. Members of the new panel would be chosen from a pool selected by appellate judges.

The bar association has said the process raises conflict-of-interest concerns for participating judges.

Past president Gary Leppla and his co-signers supporting the amendment say it is sound.