Missouri redistricting initiative facing court challenge

August 31, 2018 GMT

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri judge says he will rule soon on whether to block a November ballot measure seeking to change the way House and Senate districts are drawn and limit lobbyist gifts.

Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green heard arguments Friday from attorneys for a Republican voter and the head of Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. They claim the so-called Clean Missouri initiative violates the state constitution by addressing multiple subjects.

Lawyers for the attorney general’s office and initiative sponsors say it deals with only one topic — the state Legislature.

Legislative districts are redrawn by bipartisan commissions after every census. The initiative would have a state demographer submit plans achieve “partisan fairness” and “competitiveness.”

It also would prohibit lobbyist gifts over $5 and would reduce campaign contribution limits.