Some Mississippi Voters Ask Federal Court to Restore Initiative

On November 8, 2021, some Mississippi voters asked a U.S. District Court to restore the initiative process. Earlier in 2021, the State Supreme Court had ruled that the initiative, which is in the State Constitution, is fatally flawed because it says signatures are required from all five U.S. House districts, but for twenty years the state has only had four districts. So the State Supreme Court said the initiative doesn’t exist any longer.

The voters are asking the federal court that drew the boundaries for the four districts in both 2001 and 2011 to rule that the state still has five districts in its election code, and therefore the initiative is still functional. The boundaries of the five districts were never repealed by the legislature, so even though they have no effect on congressional elections, theoretically they can still be used for the purpose of qualifying an initiative.

The case is Smith v Hosemann, s.d., 3:01cv-855. The state responded two weeks after the request for the intervention was filed. The state says the intervenors lack standing. Nothing has happened in the case since late November 2021. Presumably the court is waiting to see if the legislature restores the initiative. However, so far there is no bill pending to do that. Here is the motion for intervention.


Some Mississippi Voters Ask Federal Court to Restore Initiative — 3 Comments

  1. Might the old boundaries fail for being an unequal distribution requirement due to modern population shifts?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.