Redistricting expert says Mo. map is compact

Thursday, February 2, 2012

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A Republican expert on political reapportionment is defending Missouri's newly redrawn U.S. House districts in court.

Thomas Hofeller testified Wednesday in Cole County Circuit Court, where a judge is weighing two lawsuits that challenge the new congressional map. The plaintiffs argue that the eight districts fail to meet a requirement to be geographically compact.

Hofeller says if Missouri's new map is rejected for that reason, then a "tremendous number" of congressional and legislative maps throughout the country would also fall short of being compact.

Missouri's congressional districts were redrawn last year to reflect changes in the population and the state's loss of a ninth U.S. House seat.

The Missouri Supreme Court has set a Friday deadline for the lower court to rule on the challenges. Closing arguments are scheduled Thursday.

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