The State Supreme Court today heard arguments that the Missouri House districts are not drawn constitutionally … that is, “as compact as may be.”
If this sounds like a resounding theme, it is.
The state’s Senate District map and Congressional map have both had their day in court as well. Or, days, as it were.
The constitution mandates that — in all three instances — districts be drawn compactly and contiguously, something litigants claim is not the case.
In today’s arguments, the state’s high court also heard accusations that the panel charged with drawing the map did not do so according to the state’s Sunshine Law, but instead made its final decisions on the districts behind closed doors.
Meanwhile, filing for candidates begins Feb. 28, leaving many politicians scratching their heads as to where, exactly, for which district do they file to run for election?
Since the Supreme Court has not handed down a decision, candidates will file in the House districts that were drawn by the redistricting commission.
Should the high court find that map unconstitutional, it’s possible a re-filing will need to happen.
Senate hopefuls will file in the districts a second panel of judges drew, so ordered by the Supreme Court just two weeks ago.
The Supreme Court upheld the reapportionment commission’s map of Congressional districts, despite complaints that the new map lumps together rural and urban areas in and around Kansas City and creates voting blocs in and around St. Louis.
Our state lost one seat in Congress because other states gained population at a faster rate than Missouri … democrats contend Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-St. Louis) was drawn out of the equation.
A last ditch effort was made earlier today: a lawsuit was filed in Cole County Circuit Court that would effectively prevent the Secretary of State’s Office from opening filing for another 15 days, or until the Supreme Court made a decision, but that effort proved futile when the judge dismissed the case.