There are more of us than ever before. More Missourians. More United States citizens. But Missouri hasn’t kept up in growth with seceral others tates. So we’re losing a member of the United States House.
When Congress convenes in 2013, Missouri will have only eight people representing it in the 435-member House of Representatives. That’s half the number we had as recently as 1933.
A legislative redistricting committee will determine which of our present districts will be collapsed. While some observers already are exepcting the disappearing district to be the one represented by Russ Carnahan in the St. Louis area, putting him in a predominantly Republican District represented by Todd Akin or Jo Ann Emerson, such speculation might be a little early. The assumption behind the speculation is that the heavily-Republican legislature will draw districts that protect Republican members (our delegation is now 6-3R). But redistricting laws requiring districts to be reasonable in size and shape and require that the districts be as equal in population as is reasonable. The census bureau will be giving state lawmakers detailed population breakouts down to very small segments of counties and the shift of population within the state could make changes outside the eastern metropolitan area that that could change the look of the St. Louis-area districts.
Keep an eye on where the first lines are drawn. If the first lines are drawn in the St. Louis area, Congressman Carnahan could have a problem. But if the first district is drawn in southwest Missouri where one suspects the greatest population growth has been, things might look much different by the time the mappers get to the St. Louis area and might have an impact on incumbents in central and western Missouri.
It’s okay to suspect that’s not the way it’s going to be done, though.
Governor Nixon, a Democrat, has veto power. And any citizen, congressman or woman, or other injured party can challenge the map in court. It’s been done before.