UNITED STATES NEWS

US judge condemns Mississippi city’s ‘crime cancer’ as he removes state justice from lawsuit

Jun 2, 2023, 12:58 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Supreme Court chief justice cannot be sued over a state law that requires him to appoint some judges in the capital city of Jackson, a federal judge wrote Thursday in a ruling that also condemned violence in the city.

U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate did not address residents’ constitutional rights in his ruling, saying he will do that later. But, Wingate wrote: “Jackson has a crime cancer.”

Wingate cited the principle of judicial immunity, which prevents judges from being sued for most of their official acts, as he removed Chief Justice Mike Randolph as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by the national, state and local chapters of the NAACP.

“Chief Justice Randolph must be dismissed from this litigation, which still will continue with the remaining parties to address the constitutionality of H.B. 1020 as a whole,” Wingate wrote.

House Bill 1020, signed into law by Republican Gov. Tate Reeves in April, expands the territory of a state-run police department within the capital city of Jackson and creates a new court in part of Jackson with a judge appointed by the chief justice. It also requires the chief justice to appoint four temporary judges to serve with the four elected judges in Hinds County Circuit Court.

Reeves and legislative leaders said the law is intended to help curb crime. But, the NAACP and other critics say the creation of a new court and the appointment of judges by a white chief justice is a way for the majority-white and Republican-led Legislature to wrest local control from residents of Jackson and Hinds county, which are both majority-Black and governed by Democrats.

Wingate on May 22 issued an order that temporarily prevents the law from taking effect. Without indicating how he will rule later in the lawsuit, Wingate wrote that “Jackson’s crime problem is sweltering, undisputed and suffocating.”

He wrote that the city has high rates of homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, sexual assault and burglary.

“Caught in this ‘race to the grave’ are the most innocent — young children whose still developing lungs had barely tasted the nutritious air which was their birthright,” Wingate wrote. “On the other end of this ‘killfest’ are the senior citizens hoping to spend their golden years in retired harmony with family and friends, instead of outfitting their homes as fortresses.”

A separate lawsuit challenging the new law was filed in state court, with some Hinds County residents arguing that the appointment of judges dismissed the state lawsuit by ruling that appointing judges does not violate the Mississippi Constitution. Plaintiffs are appealing Thomas’ ruling to the state Supreme Court.

United States News

Associated Press

Widespread power outages from deadly Houston storm raise new risk: hot weather

HOUSTON (AP) — As the Houston area works to clean up and restore power to thousands after deadly storms, it will do so Saturday under a smog warning and as all of southern Texas starts to feel the heat. The National Weather Service in Houston warned that with temperatures hitting around 90 degrees (32.2 C) […]

3 minutes ago

north-korean-fraud...

Nick Borgia

Arizona woman accused of involvement in major North Korean fraud scheme

An Arizona woman is being prosecuted for allegedly assisting in North Korean fraud schemes to place overseas IT workers in U.S. positions.

2 hours ago

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday...

Associated Press

Some in Houston facing no power for weeks after storms cause widespread damage, killing at least 4

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday, May 17. Thunderstorms hit the southeastern part of Texas, killing at least four people.

3 hours ago

Man gets 30 years in prison for attacking ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer...

Associated Press

Man gets 30 years in prison for attacking ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer

A man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for attacking the husband of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a hammer.

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Missouri candidate with ties to the KKK can stay on the Republican ballot, judge rules

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A longshot Missouri gubernatorial candidat e with ties to the Ku Klux Klan will stay on the Republican ticket, a judge ruled Friday. Cole County Circuit Court Judge Cotton Walker denied a request by the Missouri GOP to kick Darrell McClanahan out of the August Republican primary. McClanahan is running […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

UN experts say South Sudan is close to securing a $13 billion oil-backed loan from a UAE company

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. experts say South Sudan is close to securing a $13 billion loan from a company in the United Arab Emirates, despite the oil-rich country’s difficulties in managing debts backed by its oil reserves. The panel of experts said in a report to the U.N. Security Council that loan documents it […]

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

US judge condemns Mississippi city’s ‘crime cancer’ as he removes state justice from lawsuit