New lawsuit challenges Missouri House redistricting

JEFFERSON CITY | Another lawsuit has been filed challenging Missouri’s newly redrawn legislative districts, this time focusing on the 163-member House of Representatives.

The lawsuit filed Monday by more than a dozen people argues that the new House district map — drawn by the same panel of appellate judges — violates requirements that districts be compact, contiguous and have similar populations.

Among those filing the lawsuit are two former state lawmakers, Republican Bob Johnson of Lee’s Summit and Democrat Joan Bray of St. Louis. The group is requesting the lawsuit skip lower courts and move straight to the Supreme Court for an immediate hearing because filing for state offices begins Feb. 28.

The judicial commission was tasked with redrawing the legislative district maps after a bipartisan panel set up by Gov. Jay Nixon failed to reach an agreement.

Last week, the Missouri Supreme Court threw out new state Senate districts drawn by a six-member panel of appellate judges, ruling that some of the districts improperly cross county lines.