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Fri February 3, 2012
Judge hears closing arguments in congressional redistricting
Closing arguments were heard Thursday in the lawsuit over Missouri’s new congressional district map.
Debate centered around whether the so-called "grand compromise map" passed by lawmakers last year meets the State Supreme Court’s definition of compactness. Gerry Greiman, representing the plaintiffs, argued that the map’s 5th District, which lumps Kansas City together with three rural counties, fails that test.
“The compactness provision applies to every voter in every district, so if any district fails the test the whole map is invalid," Greiman said. "It’s clearly an integrated whole with interlocking pieces -- there’s no way you can sever any portion of it.”
Solicitor General Jim Layton defended the map, suggesting that it’s not possible for everyone to agree on what may or may not be compact.
“Interestingly, no witness has said that any of the maps proposed by any plaintiff drew districts that were as compact as possible--no one," Layton said.
Circuit Judge Daniel Green has been ordered to rule on the case by 5:00 p.m. today. Regardless of the outcome, the suit is expected to once again wind up before the state’s high court.