Hearing over Missouri House districts set in Cole County

Wednesday, February 1, 2012 | 10:06 a.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — A judge plans to hear a challenge this week to a new map of Missouri's 163 House districts.

Cole County Circuit Judge Pat Joyce has scheduled a hearing Friday on a lawsuit claiming the map violates requirements that districts have similar populations and be contiguous and compact. The lawsuit also alleges open meetings violations by a judicial commission that drew the map after a citizens' commission deadlocked.

The Missouri Supreme Court declined to strike down the new map but allowed it to be challenged in a trial court. The high court has instructed the trial judge to act quickly.

Legislative districts are being adjusted for changes in the population since the 2000 census.

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