Mo. Supreme Court schedules new redistricting hearing

The court battle over Missouri’s new congressional districts will be back before the state Supreme Court next Thursday — just 13 days after Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green said opponents had not proved that lawmakers violated the state Constitution.

Green ruled last Friday, in two different lawsuits challenging those districts, they meet the constitutional requirements to be “composed of contiguous territory as compact and as nearly equal in population as may be.”

The Constitution requires state lawmakers to draw new congressional district boundaries every 10 years after the U.S. Census head-count.

The two lawsuits’ claim, lawmakers’ map is unconstitutional, cited several problems with the new districts, but focused on the new 3rd District that includes Cole, Callaway, Osage and Miller counties in Mid-Missouri, the eastern part of the Lake of the Ozarks, the central part of Jefferson County south of St. Louis and the Columbia Bottoms region (where the Missouri River runs into the Mississippi River) in St. Charles County — and on the Kansas City-based 5th District, which was extended east to include the more-rural Lafayette, Ray and Saline counties.

The suits noted part of urban-and-suburban Jackson County were included in the more-rural 6th District that covers all of northern Missouri.

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued orders the appellants’ brief was due by the end of the day Thursday, and that the intervenors — state Rep. John J. Diehl Jr. and Sen. Scott T. Rupp — must submit their briefs by 5 p.m. Monday.

Attorney General Chris Koster must file his brief by noon Tuesday, and the appellants have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to file any reply brief, before the court hears the case Thursday.

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