State high court hears testimony against new House map

Feb 28, 2012

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 argued 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.

“The Appellate Judicial Commission, they don’t meet the definition of a public governmental body…they were a judicial body exercising a legislative function, and that’s not something that’s covered by the Sunshine Law,” Hess said.

Plaintiffs also claimed the districts in the State House map fail to meet the state’s compactness requirement.  Hess countered that there is no such thing as a perfect map and that this one is constitutional.  Missouri’s High Court will rule on the case later.