Arguing the U.S. Supreme Court will hand down decisions in a pair of key gerrymandering cases by late June, state officials are seeking an emergency stay of a federal court decision declaring Ohio's congressional districts as unconstitutional.

A three-judge panel in Cincinnati on Friday gave state lawmakers until June 14 to replace the illegally drawn map it said reinforced Republican rule of 12 of Ohio's 16 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The state also filed notice of its appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is required to accept the appeal and make an eventual decision.

The American Civil Liberties of Union of Ohio, one of the parties that filed the suit, opposed the motion for a stay and suggested the state get busy drawing a new map.

The filing seeking a stay of the court's ruling by the office of Attorney General Dave Yost states the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on gerrymandering cases out of Maryland and North Carolina by the end of its term June 30.

The state asks the U.S. District Court judges to issue a ruling on a stay by Friday. Yost's office says it will seek a stay from the U.S. Supreme Court if the lower court fails to issue one.

"If the Supreme Court holds that partisan gerrymandering is not unconstitutional ... then it will reverse this court's decision," the brief notes. If the justices rule that gerrymandering is illegal in those cases, they will "likely vacate this court's decision for reconsideration in light of whatever test the Supreme Court settles on."

The failure to grant a stay of the court's order to quickly produce a new congressional map would result in "the General Assembly (being) needlessly pressured into either repealing a validly enacted law or wasting resources trying to accommodate a mooted decision," the brief states.

"The people of the state of Ohio will be better served if the General Assembly can go about addressing pressing issues — ranging from opioid epidemic to the state's biennial budget to education — instead of spending valuable time responding an opinion that has a high likelihood of becoming moot mere weeks after the June 14 deadline."

Yost's office represents the defendants in the case — Secretary of State Frank LaRose, Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina, and House Speaker Larry Householder, R-Glenford. The suit was filed by the ACLU of Ohio, the Ohio League of Women Voters and others.

In a statement, ACLU Ohio legal director Freda Levenson, said, “Predictably, the state has announced its intention to appeal to the Supreme Court, and it has asked the trial court to stay its own order until the Supreme Court decides the Maryland and North Carolina gerrymander cases.

"But recall that the defendants tried for this same stay previously — just before the trial — for this same reason. The court at that time flatly refused to stay this case. The state needs to get busy drawing a constitutional map, and stop making these repeated requests for delay."