JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A state trial court is reviewing the constitutionality of Missouri’s new congressional districts just weeks before candidates are scheduled to start filing for this year’s elections.

The hearing over the new U.S. House map started Tuesday before Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green. The Missouri Supreme Court earlier this month ordered further legal review of the congressional districts. Several days have been set aside for the court hearing. The state high court has set a Friday deadline for a decision.

Two separate lawsuits contend the new U.S. House districts are unconstitutional because they are not sufficiently compact.

Missouri is dropping from nine districts to eight based on the 2010 census.

Candidates can start filing Feb. 28 for this year’s elections.

© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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