The state supreme court says the new Missouri House of Representatives districts are legal. The court has waited until this last day of filing for legislative seats to say the map drawn by a panel of appellate judges is okay. A dozen criics of the plan had charged the panel violated the state open meetings law by drawing the lines in secret, and that the legislative districts it drew violate constitutional standards for being contiguous.
A circuit judge in Jefferson City had upheld the district lines and had noted opponents had not proven it is possible to develop a better plan.
The special judicial panel was appointed to draw the map after a bipartisan citizens commission failed to agree on a plan. The commisison drew criticism by conducting most of its business behind closed doors. Some legislation has been introduced in the general assembly requirting future reapportionment commissions to conduct their business in public.
The supreme court, in announcing its ruling, has not said why it has waited until this last filing day to endorse the commission’s map. The court has not announced a ruling on a challenge to the lines of the state’s eight congressional districts.