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Lawsuits challenging Mo.'s congressional redistricting maps to be tossed

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.

“Our claims pleaded in the petition are clearly viable, and the case requires a trial to delve into the specifics and justifications," Greiman said.  "We’ll ask the (High Court) to reverse this dismissal and send it back for trial.”

Greiman hopes such a trial will also result in the court system drawing a new map.

“We have to have (a map) at some point," Greiman said.  "I think the legislature has shown itself unable to draw a proper map; there’s a timing consideration here as well, so we would ask the court to draw a proper map.”

Missouri Solicitor General James Layton defended the map before 19th Circuit Court Judge Daniel Green.

“The plaintiffs have said that the standard is that the legislature has to substantially comply with compactness, but frankly, the maps on their face meet that requirement," Layton said.

Layton did call the redrawn Kansas City-area district, “problematic,” but also said he didn’t think it was a big enough problem to toss the entire map. 

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.

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