(via Flickr/steakpinball)

Another legal challenge over Missouri's redistricting process seeks to block new districts for the 163-member state House.

In a lawsuit filed Monday, more than a dozen people, including two former lawmakers, say a new House district map violates requirements that districts be compact, contiguous and have similar populations. The plaintiffs are asking the Supreme Court to consider the case without it going before a trial court.

A panel of appellate judges drew up the map of new districts for the Missouri House after the 2010 census.

(via flickr/david_shane)

Missouri judge schedules hearing for for U.S. House districts

A Missouri trial judge is setting aside several days to examine new congressional districts after the state Supreme Court ordered further review of the new map. Online court records show Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green has schedule what is expected to be a three-day hearing beginning Jan. 31. 

This week, the Missouri Supreme Court ordered further review of claims that the redrawn U. S. House districts are unconstitutional because they are not sufficiently compact.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

Updated 5:21 p.m. with Gov. Nixon asking for nominees for new citizens commission

The Missouri Supreme Court has struck down new state Senate districts and ordered a further legal review of new U.S. House districts.

The rulings Tuesday add fresh uncertainty for the 2012 election year, just weeks before candidates are to begin filing for office.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The legal battle over Missouri’s new congressional map resumed today. 

The State Supreme Court heard arguments over whether the so-called “Grand Compromise Map” fails to meet the State Constitution’s compactness requirement.  Attorney Gerry Greiman argued for the plaintiffs in one of two lawsuits against the map.  He says like-minded people should be joined together in the same district.

(Missouri Office of Administration website)

Updated 4:56 p.m. with Supreme Court setting oral argument.

The Missouri Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments quickly on a Columbia lawyer's challenge to newly drawn districts for the 34-seat state Senate.

District boundaries were redrawn by a panel of state appellate judges to reflect population changes based on the 2010 census.

(Harrison Sweazea/Mo. Senate)

Updated 1:48 p.m. with quote from Crowell, more information.

A Missouri senator wants to change the secretive process used to draw new legislative districts.

Republican Sen. Jason Crowell, of Cape Girardeau, is proposing a constitutional amendment to require redistricting commissions to follow the state's public meetings and open records law.

He said redistricting is fundamental to the democratic process, and new boundaries for state legislative seats should not be drawn behind closed doors.

(Missouri Office of Administration website)

A six-judge panel that redrew Missouri’s State House and Senate districts has made a few changes to the Senate map.

The original map had raised constitutional concerns because it divided rural Johnson County in western Missouri among two separate Senate districts.  The county is represented in the Senate by Republican David Pearce of Warrensburg.

A Cole County judge has decided to dismiss a legal challenge to the congressional redistricting maps passed this year by Missouri lawmakers.

Two suits were heard jointly Thursday, one from St. Louis-area Democrats and the other from Kansas City-area Republicans.  Both stated that the so-called Grand Compromise Map was geared to protect incumbents, and would weaken the political voices of St. Louis and Kansas City.  Attorney Gerry Greiman represents the St. Louis area plaintiffs.  He says they’ll appeal directly to the State Supreme Court.

(Illinois House of Representatives via Google Maps)

Judges have thrown out a Republican lawsuit challenging a Democrat-drawn map of new state legislative

A panel of federal judges in Chicago on Wednesday dismissed the suit filed by top Illinois Republicans.

House Republican leader Tom Cross and Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno sued because they contend the Democrat-drawn map is unfair to minority groups and GOP voters.

(Missouri State Redistricting Office)

Lawmakers raise constitutional questions about new districts


Occupy STL members say movement still strong

The tents are gone from Kiener Plaza, along with the big crowds. But people involved in the Occupy St. Louis movement say they're still going strong.

Today marks the two-month anniversary of the movement that began in New York and spread to several other cities. At one point in St. Louis, more than 100 people were camped in Kiener Plaza, a downtown park.

(Missouri State Redistricting Office)

Updated at 6:42 p.m. with comments from Mo. Sen. Jane Cunningham (R, Chesterfield).

New redistricting plans and maps for the Missouri General Assembly have been filed with the Missouri Secretary of State's office.

Redistricting occurs every 10 years, and is based on results from the census. Missouri's most recent census data, with shifts and increases in population, required significant changes to be made.

“We have worked collaboratively to draw maps that comply with the constitution, the Voting Rights Act, and other legal requirements,” Lisa White Hardwick, chair of the Missouri Appellate Apportionment Commission, said in a release.

The St. Louis area has lost a State Senate district.  The 7th District is represented by Jane Cunningham (R, Chesterfield) and mainly consists of western St. Louis County.  Starting in 2013, it will consist of six counties to the north and west of the metro area and a small portion of St. Charles County.  Cunningham says she’ll now run for the 27th District Senate seat, which will include parts of St. Louis and Jefferson Counties.

“I had expected much of this area to be mine anyway, I’ve already been working in many of what would be new areas, and so they know me," Cunningham said.  "Our home is in another area, but this is my stomping grounds.”

Cunningham will have to move to a new home in order to live in the new 27th District, which she calls a minor inconvenience.  The new State Senate boundaries also have Cunningham’s current home in the same district as fellow Republican Senator John Lamping

Here are the newly submitted maps for the St. Louis region (click within each to expand and explore):

(Wikimedia Commons/Online Congressional Guide)

As Missouri awaits a decision from Cole County Circuit Court about the redistricting map created by the Missouri General Assembly, 3rd District Congressman Russ Carnahan remains mum about his plans for re-election in 2012.  Saying it makes little sense to make any decision before the Court’s, Carnahan refused to say whether or not he’d consider a run in the 1st District against Democrat Lacy Clay.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Cardinals lose to Brewers in NLCS Game 4

The Milwaukee Brewers beat the Cardinals last night 4-2 to even the NL championship series at 2 games a piece. Matt Holliday and Allen Craig homered for the Cardinals, representing their only runs in the last 16 innings. The Brewers ended an eight-game road losing streak in the postseason dating to the 1982 World Series opener at St. Louis. Jaime Garcia faces Zack Greinke for the second time in the series in Game 5 tonight.

East St. Louis Police Chief will not resign after all

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Numerous proposals to redraw Missouri’s State House and Senate district maps were delivered today to a six-judge panel in Jefferson City.

The interested parties include several current and former lawmakers from both political parties.  A coalition of St. Louis-area senators pitched a map that's designed to prevent the region from losing a State Senate seat.  Republican Eric Schmitt of Glendale says the metro area has not lost enough population to justify losing a Senate district.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated 10:43 a.m. Oct. 13 with corrected location of hearings

A judicial panel charged with redrawing Missouri’s State House and Senate districts will begin taking comments from the public tomorrow.

The six-judge panel will draw new maps because two panels made up of Democrats and Republicans failed to reach agreements on them before the August deadline.

(Official Portrait, Missouri Attorney General's office)

The Missouri attorney general's office contends a lawsuit challenging new congressional districts should be dismissed.

Some Democrats filed a lawsuit last month challenging the new districts. They argue the districts are not compact and contiguous, deny equal rights and reflect the use of government power to benefit a few instead of preserving the general welfare.

(Mo. Senate)

A lawsuit has been filed challenging a new Missouri law redrawing the state's congressional districts based on the 2010 census.

A half-dozen citizens are listed as plaintiffs on the lawsuit filed today in Cole County Circuit Court contending the new districts were designed to serve partisan ends rather to fairly represent Missourians.

(via Flickr/CrashTestAddict)

Town Hall tonight on heroin epidemic

Tonight, law enforcement, social workers and drug counselors will hold a third Town Hall meeting on the epidemic of heroin and prescription pain killer use among teens in St. Louis County. Speakers will be on hand to talk about police enforcement strategies and signs of heroin addiction.

(Missouri Senate)

A commission tasked with redrawing State Senate districts in Missouri has thrown in the towel and will allow a panel of judges to do the job.

The main sticking point was over the 24th Senate District in St. Louis County.  Despite an approximate 59 percent Democratic population, the seat is held by a Republican, Senator John Lamping.

The Democrats on the redistricting commission, including Chairman Doug Harpool, cited population shifts for seeking to eliminate Lamping’s district and create a new one in southwestern Missouri.