by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher
Similar to an assignment given to the soldier in Hemingway’s masterpiece story, the Mississippi electorate recently adopted three initiatives on the 2020 ballot.  Like the obstacles Robert Jordan went through, these were paramount changes for the state in regards to our past.

The Mississippi Supreme Court decided to thwart this referendum by the electorate (on a 6-3 opinion) that the state could not enforce laws without the appropriate congressional distinction.

In other words, taking a legislative action by the court instead of letting the state legislature fulfill the duty under constitutional principles.

Yet for some reason; despite nearly 3/4 approval of the ballot issue (Initiative 65), the striking of one clerical point in this measure became a determining factor for all of ballot initiatives in the last 20 years.

Thirteen measures have been placed on Mississippi’s statewide ballot to be exact, since 2001 from the loss of one congressional district (from 5 to 4).  According to the state Supreme Court action, certain measures such as Voter Identification (Initiative 27), Eminent Domain (Initiative 31),  the right to hunt or fish (HCR 30), or adoption of a new state flag (Ballot Measure 3) can’t be enforced because all of these initiatives were passed under the paradigm of five congressional districts.

No legal education nor experience can prepare anyone from the many hours of case procedures these justices have, but one imminent U.S. Supreme Court case comes to my mind and sure it is well known throughout the court ranks.

Marbury v. Madison determined through the American justice system that it is the job of judges; including the justices of the Supreme Court, to interpret laws and determine when they conflict with the Constitution.

In this famous case, the decision was not to enact an order determining that a referendum was illegal, but a legislative action.  Since the state legislature has allowed this opportunity for the last twenty years, the rules and procedures of their legislative action should be held in to question rather than from the public choice.

Voting is the most effective way to sustain our democracy and the judicial branch questioning this decision brings a dim light on the state’s checks and balances.