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Mississippi Supreme Court partially...

Mississippi Supreme Court partially affirms, partially rejects lower court ruling in HB 1020 case

By: Frank Corder - September 21, 2023

Mississippi Supreme Court

While the Court found it to be constitutional for the Chief Justice to appoint temporary judges in Jackson’s CCID, justices said it was unconstitutional to appoint temporary judges to the Hinds County Circuit Court.

The Mississippi Supreme Court has handed down its ruling on House Bill 1020, the new law that allows for the Chief Justice to appoint four temporary judges while expanding the Capitol Complex Improvement District (CCID) and the jurisdiction of the Capitol Police.

The Court heard the matter in July on appeal filed by three Jackson residents who believe the new law passed by the Mississippi Legislature and signed into law by Governor Tate Reeves impedes on their rights as Jackson residents.

Chief Justice Mike Randolph recused himself from the proceedings.

In mid-May, lower court Judge Dewayne Thomas denied the appellants’ motion for a preliminary injunction and granted the Attorney General’s motion to dismiss the complaint, saying then that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.

Today, the state Supreme Court partially affirmed and partially rejected the lower court’s dismissal.

Justices in an 6-2 majority agreed with Thomas that the provision creating a special CCID court is constitutional, and that the Chief Justice could appoint the judges.

The dismissals of the Chief Justice and the Circuit Clerk from the suit were also affirmed.

However, the Justices ruled 8-0 that the appointment of temporary unelected judges to the Hinds County Circuit Court is unconstitutional. The matter was remanded back to the chancery court.

Magnolia Tribune will continue to follow the cases related to HB 1020.

About the Author(s)
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Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank: