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S.D. Miss.

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O’Neil v. Hosemann (Daniel P. Jordan III, S.D. Miss. 3:18-cv-815)
On the day before a runoff election, plaintiffs sought a federal court injunction requiring the counting of absentee ballots post-marked by election day instead of received by the day before election day. The federal judge decided that the request for relief was too late and the relief requested too disruptive.
Subject: Absentee ballots. Topics: Absentee ballots; laches.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

True the Vote v. Hosemann (Michael P. Mills, N.D. Miss. 3:14-cv-144) and True the Vote v. Hosemann (Henry T. Wingate and Nancy F. Atlas, S.D. Miss. 3:14-cv-532)
A federal complaint sought voter information to investigate the possibility of voting in a runoff senatorial primary election for one party after voting in another party’s earlier primary election. The judge who was assigned the case determined that it should have been brought in the other district, which includes the capital. A second suit there was transferred to a district in another state within the circuit because of the federal bench’s close ties with the incumbent senator, a candidate in the runoff primary election. The transferee judge dismissed claims under the National Voter Registration Act for failure to comply with the Act’s notice requirements. By the time of decision, the defendants had disclosed to the plaintiffs all of the information required by the Act anyway.
Subject: Voting irregularities. Topics: National Voter Registration Act; primary election; recusal; case assignment; attorney fees; matters for state courts.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Patterson v. Esch (William H. Barbour, Jr., S.D. Miss. 3:09-cv-438)
A mayor filed a federal complaint claiming that a board of selectmen’s pending vote to reduce the mayor’s powers violated section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibited changes in voting procedures in covered jurisdictions without federal preclearance. The district judge determined that mayoral powers were not covered by section 5.
Topic: Section 5 preclearance.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Madison County Board of Supervisors v. Mississippi (William H. Barbour, Jr., and Louis Guirola, Jr., S.D. Miss. 3:11-cv-119), County Branches of the NAACP v. County Boards of Supervisors (Sharion Aycock, N.D. Miss. 1:11-cv-59 and 2:11-cv-40; Michael P. Mills, N.D. Miss. 1:11-cv-60, 2:11-cv-43, 3:11-cv-27, and 3:11-cv-28; W. Allen Pepper, Jr., N.D. Miss. 2:11-cv-41 and 2:11-cv-42; and Louis Guirola, Jr., S.D. Miss. 3:11-cv-121, 3:11-cv-122, 3:11-cv-123, 3:11-cv-124, 4:11-cv-33, 5:11-cv-28, 5:11-cv-29, and 5:11-cv-30), and Redd v. Westbrook (Louis Guirola, Jr., S.D. Miss. 3:11-cv-321)
Every 20 years, the interval of time between the decennial census and elections to county boards of supervisors in Mississippi is so short that it is difficult to redistrict the county boards in time for the elections. Among the federal lawsuits filed in 2011 because of this in Mississippi’s two districts, 17 sought court intervention to enable redistricting before the election and one sought court intervention to prevent redistricting before the election. Five district judges denied immediate judicial relief. The court of appeals determined that the 2011 elections mooted the cases.
Topics: Malapportionment; intervention; case assignment.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Blakely v. City of Laurel Clerk Office (Keith Starrett, S.D. Miss. 2:13-cv-72)
A would-be candidate for city council filed a pro se federal complaint alleging wrongful disqualification of his candidacy on the basis of old felony convictions. The district judge set the case for hearing nine days later. Two weeks after that, the district judge found the case to have been filed in bad faith because the plaintiff had already lost three similar state-court cases, and the judge sanctioned the plaintiff $5,000. The court of appeals affirmed the dismissal and the sanction.
Topics: Getting on the ballot; pro se party; matters for state courts; recusal.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Personhood Mississippi v. Hood (Daniel P. Jordan III, S.D. Miss. 3:10-cv-71)
Supporters of a ballot initiative alleged in a federal complaint unconstitutional application of the year-long signature period because county election officials were sometimes taking too long to certify ballot petition signatures so that the initiative supporters could not efficiently determine where to allocate signature-drive resources. The parties appeared in chambers on the day that the complaint was filed, and the state filed a response three days later. Four days after that, the district judge abstained from providing immediate relief because resolution of issues of state law could moot the federal constitutional issues. Later, the court dismissed the action on stipulation.
Topics: Ballot measure; getting on the ballot.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

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Updated statistics for 44 districts with information for SY 1994

Archival Copy on File

The Civil Justice Expense and Delay Reduction Plan adopted by both the Northern and Southern Districts of Mississippi.

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