Missouri Supreme Court allows new boundaries for state House to go into effect
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 27, 2012 - Just hours before candidate-filing ends for this year’s ballots, the Missouri Supreme Court has issued a ruling that, in effect, allows the new boundary lines for the state’s 163 state House seats to go into effect.
The high court issued a one-sentence ruling this afternoon that affirms a lower-court decision in a suit seeking to toss out the new state House map.
The Supreme Court’s action had been expected, and most state House candidates had already filed for office with that in mind.
The new map had been crafted by a team of appellate judges last fall after a bipartisan reapportionment panel set up by the governor failed to reach agreement.
Critics had gone to court earlier this year, contending that the map failed to comply with the state constitution's "compactness" mandate and the requirement that all 163 House districts have populations as similar as possible. Instead, some districts have more than 7 percent deviation, the suit noted.
The Supreme Court’s hearing of the appeal came the day before candidate filing officially got underway on Feb. 28.
The state Supreme Court has yet to rule on combined suits that challenge the new boundaries for the state’s remaining eight congressional districts.