KC’s Mo-5 Congressional District Under the Gun, But Judge Indicates He Supports the New Congressional Lines

(Proposed new Mo-5 District is in purple near the KC area)
A Cole County Judge is indicating he’ll support the Congressional lines drawn by the Missouri legislature.
But even the attorney defending the redistricting map conceded the new Missouri 5th District, now held by Democratic incumbent Rep.Emanuel Cleaver may be “problematic”.
Missouri Solicitor General James Slayton says the map, and the re-drawn Mo-5, can stand up in court.
The new Missouri 5th extends Cleaves district into three largely rural counties to the east of the Kansas City metro. Cleaver has already started campaigning in the area.
He is the head of the Congressional Black Caucus, a group normally associated with urban issues. Earlier this fall, however, he brought US Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack into the area.
After Thursday’s hearing, Cole County Judge Dan Green says those parties challenging the new lines have “a political quarrel” with the lawmakers who drew up the maps, as opposed to a legal one. He asked the lawyers defending the map draw up a proposed statement supporting their position. But Judge Green did not indicate when he might sign it.
Missouri’s Congressional delegation lost one of it’s nine members after the US census showed the state had not grown fast enough to keep all nine Congressional seats.
One seat, that of Democratic incumbent Russ Carnahan of St. Louis, was essentially eliminated. The state’s delegation after redistricting will have eight members of Congress, not nine.
Critics told the judge the lines drawn by the Republican legislators in Jefferson City were aimed at keeping incumbents in office and making hard for challengers to unseat them.
The Missouri News Horizon quoted an attorney challenging the map, Gerry Grieman.
“It cannot be and is not the law of Missouri that a political party can use its commanding majority in the state Legislature to rig future congressional elections in its favor for the next 10 years,” Greiman said. “Yet, that is exactly what the Missouri General Assembly did in this case.”
Whatever the ruling, it is likely to be appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court.
Candidate filing for Congressional races in Missouri start in late February, 2012.

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