Friday, September 19, 2008

MS Sup. Ct. Quote of the Year

The Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled 8-1 that Gov. Haley Barbour's (R) effort to drop the Mississippi Senate special election to the bottom of the ballot violates state election law, which clearly says that national elections (such as races for the US Senate) need to be at the top of the ballot. But the Court also held that it has no authority to actually order Barbour to comply, which is what the "1" was dissenting from (though it appears Barbour will comply voluntarily).

This is not the first time this election has landed in the lap of the MS Supreme Court. The last time, it was Barbour's successful effort to avoid scheduling the special election within 90 days of former Senator Trent Lott's (R) resignation. The law said that "The election must be held within 90 days, unless the vacancy occurs during a year when there shall be a general state or congressional election." As Lott resigned in 2007, and there were no such elections until 2008, it would seem that the 90 day rule would apply. Alas, the court disagreed, and that leads us to Justice Diaz's wonderful dissenting line:
Given the governor's recent success at convincing seven members of this Court that a year is sometimes not a year, see Barbour v. State ex. rel Hood, 974 So. 2d 232 (Miss. 2008), one cannot fault him for daring to return to our chamber and insisting that the top is sometimes not the top.

For. The. Win.

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