/Hosemann, Gunn ‘Racial animus’ of Jim Crow no reason to change law designed to thwart African Americans being elected statewide

Hosemann, Gunn ‘Racial animus’ of Jim Crow no reason to change law designed to thwart African Americans being elected statewide

Trey Jones, Jackson attorney for Hosemann and Gunn wrote that even if the plaintiffs’ claims that the challenged constitutional provisions were passed with racial animus is true, these allegations are insufficient to establish a justiciable controversy or case to invoke the court’s jurisdiction. The issue is language in the state Constitution that states that a candidate for the state office must win a majority vote of the popular vote, and most votes in the majority of the state’s 12 House districts. The House will select the winner from those who have received the most votes. The lawsuit was filed by four African Americans who are registered voters in Mississippi. It asks U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan III of Southern District of Mississippi to stop the enforcement of the provisions. They claim they are unconstitutional, and could theoretically block the top vote-getter winning the office of Governor this year. Hosemann and Gunn want the lawsuit to be dismissed. In a June lawsuit, the plaintiff claims that the provision “violates one-person, single-vote principle” by discarding votes cast in any legislative district for candidates who fail attain a majority. The mandate that a candidate must win more than 50% of the vote “ensures, even when African American preferred candidats generate enough support to win the plurality of votes, it is unlikely that they will be elected,” according to the complaint. This provision was included in the 1890s Constitution to stop black Mississippians from running for statewide office. According to the lawsuit, a volume of Mississippi Historical Society states that the Constitution was written in 1890 to ensure the white minority controlled Congress. It is “the legal basis and bulwark of white supremacy in a state where an overwhelming and growing number of negros controls the House of Representatives.” Hosemann and Gunn responded earlier this week to claim that the four black Mississippians don’t have standing to sue because they have not been affected by the provisions. Hosemann and Gunn responded that it is only conjecture that they will be hurt. Hosemann and Gunn replied that neither the secretary nor the speaker wanted to defend the motivations behind the law allegedly passed with racial animus. But, in reality, Hosemann/Gunn said that the lawsuit was filed by National Redistricting Foundation, an affiliate under the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, on behalf of Leslie Burl McLemore, Charles Holmes, Jimmy Robinson Sr., Roderick Woullard, Hattiesburg, Roderick Woullard, and Roderick Woullard, Roderick Woullard, Roderick Woullard, Gunn. Some believe Attorney General Jim Hood, viewed as the Democrats’ best chance to win the Governor’s Mansion since 2003, could win the most votes – even a majority in the November general election – and still be denied the office by a Republican-controlled House if Hood does not win the most votes in a majority of the House districts. The Hosemann/Gunn response stated that the provision was only used once – in 1999, when the Democrat-controlled House voted 86 to 36 for Ronnie Musgrove. Musgrove received a plurality in the popular vote. The majority of Republican House members at the time, which were in a minority, voted in favor of Republican Mike Parker. They claimed that they were voting in the same way their constituents in their respective districts voted. The constitutional provisions were actually in effect in three consecutive 1990 elections. The 1991 race for lieutenant Governor was void of majorities, but the incumbent Democrat Brad Dye wrote to the House a letter expressing his gratitude to Eddie Briggs, the Republican who received the most votes. Briggs then sent a letter in 1995 to the House confirming Musgrove’s victory, although he did not win the majority of House districts. Hosemann and Gunn asked for Hood to be made the defendant instead of Hood. Gunn is likely to be listed as he preside over the House where these provisions will come into effect. Hosemann was added because he oversees elections. Hood stated that he believes the winner of the most votes should be elected. Vermont is currently the only state that has a similar provision. It allows for statewide elections to be held in the Legislature if no candidate wins more than a majority. Vermont doesn’t have the requirement that a candidate must win a majority in the House districts. Only Mississippi has a provision that allows a candidate for statewide office to win a majority vote and not be seated.