Federal suit challenges proposed Missouri Senate map
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, left, delivers the annual State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012, at the capitol in Jefferson City, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) By Jeff Roberson
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A federal lawsuit claims Missouri's newly proposed Senate districts should be struck down because they give greater weight to urban voters at the expense of rural residents.
The lawsuit asserts that the districts recently given tentative approval by a bipartisan commission violate equal protection rights. It asks a judge to instead order the use of a Senate map that had been proposed by a judicial panel last year, but which the Missouri Supreme Court had previously said was invalid.
The latest lawsuit was filed Friday by a pair of law firms whose attorneys include former Missouri House Speaker and U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway, a Republican.
The arguments echo concerns raised by Republican state Sen. Jane Cunningham, of St. Louis County, whose district number was reassigned to Kansas City.