“What the Constitution says is clear and clear: one card,” Ellinger said.
Former Missouri Solicitor General Jim Layton, who was involved in the last two Missouri redistribution efforts, said he had never heard of a commission proposing two tentative plans before.
Still, he said courts could agree to the method if the House committee was able to agree on a final plan before the January deadline.
“They have fulfilled their constitutional obligation to provide a plan,” Layton said. “And now the real question is in the next 30 days, can they come up with one that gets a (successful) vote?” “
If the commissions don’t vote on a final plan by Jan. 23, the Missouri Supreme Court is tasked with choosing a panel of six judges to take on the task.
Judges had to draw maps for the Missouri house in 2011 and 2001 after commissioners failed to agree on a plan. Judges have also had to draw Senate maps every ten years since the 1980s, although their 2011 map was overturned by the state’s Supreme Court. After the court ruling, a second bipartite commission was formed and completed the redistribution of the Senate in 2012.
Commissioners face different guidelines for redesigning districts this year.
A constitutional amendment approved by voters last year reduced the potential for sparsely populated counties to break up. It prioritizes keeping counties and municipalities intact in districts, relegating partisan fairness and competitiveness to a lower priority than was originally approved in a separate constitutional amendment in 2018.