WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, a group of Missouri voters filed a lawsuit over the state’s stalled redistricting process that has so far failed to produce a new congressional map. The lawsuit highlights the fact that the Missouri General Assembly is not close to passing a new congressional map, largely due to infighting between Republican legislators — including a 31-hour filibuster — over how aggressively to gerrymander the map. Given that legislators have been unable to move the redistricting process forward, the plaintiffs ask the state court to intervene in the redistricting process to ensure that new congressional districts are in place for the 2022 election cycle. This is the second impasse suit filed in Missouri; the first was filed earlier this week by a Republican congressional candidate.
Missouri’s current congressional map was drawn using 2010 census data and therefore does not accurately reflect the state’s population growth from the last decade. Because of this, the plaintiffs argue that the current districts are malapportioned and do not comply with the constitutional principle of one person, one vote. Further, the plaintiffs point out that the candidate filing period has already opened without new districts in place and it closes on March 29. Because any redistricting bill passed without any emergency clause (which requires a two-thirds majority to pass) will not take effect for 90 days, the plaintiffs argue that it is necessary for the court to block the current map from being used and adopt a plan based on 2020 census data.