Supreme Court OKs Ballot Initiatives | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Supreme Court OKs Ballot Initiatives

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Sept. 8, 2011
Read the personhood ruling
Read the eminent domain ruling

The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled today that it does not have the authority to determine the constitutionality of two voter initiatives on the Nov. 8 ballot.

The Personhood ballot measure would amend the Mississippi constitution to define "the term 'person' or 'persons' include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof."

Proposed by the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, the eminent domain ballot measure will ask voters, "Should government be prohibited from taking private property by eminent domain and then transferring it to other persons?"

In the Personhood suit, the court ruled that the initiative wasn't "ripe" for review.

"Ultimately, the judiciary's power is restricted in reviewing the constitutionality of a proposal, regardless of whether that proposal is proffered by a legislator or through a voter initiative. Our law provides that this Court cannot interfere with the legislative act of the people, just as this Court cannot interfere with the attempt of the Legislature to pass a law," The court stated in the Personhood ruling.

The ACLU issued a statement against today's ruling.

"We're disappointed with the ruling," Nsombi Lambright, executive director of the ACLU of Mississippi, said in a statement. "A measure will be on the ballot that will allow the government to dictate what is a private matter that's best decided by a woman, her family and within the context of her faith. Mississippi voters should reject this intrusive and dangerous measure."

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