Jeffery Stallworth is a Jackson resident who was once the airport commissioner. He requested a preliminary injunction from a federal court to stop the legislation’s implementation on July 1. He made his request one day after Jackson attempted to join Stallworth’s lawsuit. Jackson, along with each member of the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority and Mayor Tony Yarber, filed a 56-page motion before the court. Jackson’s lawyers wrote in the city’s motion that Senate Bill 2162 seeks “to ‘take’, ‘convert or otherwise strip’ the City from property rights and municipal purposes. “Such arbitrary, capricious actions of the State of Mississippi deprives the City of its property right without due process or an chance to be heard.” Officials from both the city and the airport authority have claimed that the state cannot alter the management of the airport’s operations without the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration. Stallworth filed his suit in April alleging that the legislation creating the nine-member airport authority violated his constitutional rights under both the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. Stallworth claims the legislation discriminates against black Jackson residents “less favorably” that white Jackson citizens. Attorneys for Governor. The state, the Legislature and Mississippi Department of Transportation named Phil Bryant as defendants. They deny most of the allegations and argue that the lawsuit should be dismissed. Before Stallworth filed a petition to join the lawsuit, city officials had primarily focused on the FAA’s approval authority for airport management. They cited federal register entries from the FAA. According to the federal register entry of the FAA, “While state and local legislative actions, or a judiciary action… may seek changes to an airport’s ownership and governance, or operations,” only the FAA is authorized to approve or modify airport sponsorship and to approve and issue a new Airport Operating Certificate. The FAA is required by law to ensure that the airport operator/sponsor can assume all federal grant assurances and safety compliance and has the necessary expertise to run the airport. The FAA also recommends that state and local governments contemplating legislation to change the airport owners work with the current sponsor. Stallworth also requested a hearing on his preliminary-injunction motion, but no hearing date has yet been set. To support this important work, you can make a regular donation to the Spring Member Drive today. Our reporters give a human face to policy’s impact on everyday Mississippians by listening more closely and understanding their communities. To ensure that our work is aligned with the priorities and needs of all Mississippians, we are listening to you. Click the button below to let us know what you think.