Lawmakers’ new congressional districts hold up in legal challenge

The lawyers who filed two lawsuits challenging the Legislature’s plan for redrawing Missouri’s congressional map, based on the 2010 U.S. Census, said they plan to appeal quickly to the Missouri Supreme Court.

After a nearly 90-minute hearing Thursday afternoon, Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green indicated he would rule against the parties in the two lawsuits that challenged the congressional map approved last spring by the Republican-led General Assembly.

The lawsuits argued that lawmakers drew the maps with political considerations in mind, including protecting incumbent members of Congress, rather than following constitutional requirements to keep similar communities together and drawing districts to be as compact as possible.

Complaints included the new 5th District, based in Kansas City, but stretching east more than 100 miles to include Lafayette, Ray and Saline counties in rural Missouri, and the changes to Jefferson County, south of St. Louis, which went from being only a part of the St. Louis-based 3rd District to being divided into parts of three congressional districts.

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