The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld new boundaries for state House districts based upon the 2010 census.
The high court issued a one-line ruling Tuesday upholding the new districts and saying a longer opinion would be issued sometime in the future. The ruling came about three hours before Tuesday's 5 p.m. deadline for candidates to file for this year's elections.
Good morning! Here are some of the starting headlines of the day so far:
Nixon to hold news conference Tuesday on proposed cut in state aid to the blind
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is taking his case to the public to try to reverse a proposed cut in state aid to the blind. The Democratic governor is holding a news conference Tuesday in Columbia with leaders from organizations for the blind to oppose a cut made by the Republican-led House budget committee.
The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in a lawsuit challenging the new State House redistricting map.
The map’s opponents raised similar objections as those who’ve challenged the congressional and State Senate district maps drawn up last year: Like the Senate map, plaintiffs claimed, in written statements, that the six-judge panel that drew up the House map did so behind closed doors and thus violated the state’s Sunshine law. Robert Hess, one of the attorneys defending the map, said the panel was not subject to the Sunshine law.
According to Mo. Sec. of State Robin Carnahan's office, Judge Daniel Green of the Cole County Circuit Court has denied the temporary restraining order. The decision means candidate filing for Missouri state Senate districts will begin Tuesday morning, as scheduled.
Updated at 4 p.m. with comments from plaintiff
There's another twist in the ongoing legal battle over the new districts for the Missouri State Senate.
Instead of debating the bill itself, some St. Louis-area Senators began criticizing the citizens’ commission that drew up the latest State Senate district map. Jim Lembke (R, Lemay) and Jane Cunningham (R, Chesterfield) both had harsh words for the proposed map, which would move Cunningham’s 7th District to the Kansas City area.
A tentative agreement has been reached on a new redistricting map for the Missouri Senate.
A bipartisan commission appointed by Governor Jay Nixon (D) to draw a new map negotiated for more than 13 hours Wednesday, and reached a consensus after 12:00 this morning. The "Tentative Plan" map can be viewed here. Marc Ellinger is the top Republican on the 10-person commission.
Two lawsuits challenging Missouri’s new congressional district map have been heard for a second time by the State Supreme Court. The cases returned to the High Court after the map was upheld two weeks ago by a Cole County Circuit judge.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs continued their arguments that the districts drawn on the so-called Grand Compromise Map fails the state constitution’s compactness requirement. Attorney Jamie Barker Landes criticized the new 5th District, which lumps three rural GOP-leaning counties with urban Jackson County, while also adding a slice of metro Kansas City onto the rural northern Missouri 6th District.
The Missouri Senate has unanimously passed legislation to move the filing period for the state’s party primaries back by one month.
The bill is moving rapidly because the filing period is currently set to begin February 28th and end March 27th, and because of the lack of new State House and Senate district maps. The Missouri Supreme Court tossed out the Senate map, which now has to be redrawn, and a legal challenge to the new House map is also being appealed to the High Court. Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) says those facts alone make it necessary to push back the filing period.