Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Kidd stops the House

Hinds County Circuit Judge Winston Kidd issued a temporary restraining order against the Mississippi House of Representatives.  House Democrats have used the age-old tactic of asking for the reading of each bill before a vote is taken in an effort to slow the operations of the House to a crawl, or reduce it to the pace of the Jackson City Council in making decisions.  Representative Jay Hughes, The Oxford Don (although it is Oxford, Mississippi and not Oxford & Cambridge, although in Mr. Hughes' mind he probably does not distinguish between the two Oxfords), petitioned the court to stop the House leadership from using a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious speed reader that can make twoallbeefpattiesspecialsaucelettucecheesepicklesoniononasesameseedbun seem but a blur.

Judge Kidd issued the restraining order and scheduled a hearing for March 28 at 9:00 AM.  Judge Kidd decreed that the bills shall be read "in a normal speed audible level comprehensive lever so that each member of the House of Representatives has an opportunity to hear and understand each word of each such properly requested reading..".



Kingfish note: Of course, there is one flaw in Mr. Hughes' tactics.  He got a TRO from a judge whose judgement on political lawsuits is questionable at best.  The same judge that got slapped down on open carry and school take-overs. Same judge who sets low bonds for violent criminals and is the main judge responsible for the Hinds County catch & release program.   Don't be shocked if the Mississippi Supreme Court quickly overturns this order on the grounds it is a political question and violates the separation of powers. 

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The main judge responsible for the Hinds County catch & release program"? I'm sorry but that honorific belongs to Green

Anonymous said...

Between the spelling errors, grammatical errors, and every other kind of error, that order looks like it was drafted by a third grader.

Anonymous said...

I could go either way on this being a political question... A judge examining how the legislature reads bills would likely be kicked back as non-justiciable, but whether the legislature is reading bills as directed under the constitution -- does the machine's high speed output constitute reading? -- is a constitutional inquiry that could definitely be examined by the courts. That's not a separation of powers issues, that is simply judicial review. We've got a system of checks and balances and neither the leg, exec or courts are above all review.

Anonymous said...

@11:21

Looks like it was prepared by J.P. Hughes, Jr. Normally the attorney filing the motion will prepare an order for the judge to sign. Usually, the order will also include a "Prepared By" section so that you can see who actually wrote it. Judging by the similar errors shared by the order and the motion, I would hazard a guess that Congressman Hughes prepared both.

I especially like how they had to white out/strikeout all of the references to "Chancery" court (and "chancellor", on the signature line) and replace them with "Circuit". Really impressive attention to detail.

Anonymous said...

"House Democrats have used the age-old tactic of asking for the reading of each bill before a vote is taken.... "

I suspect the reason they do this so often is because the Dems keep electing reps that can't read.....

Anonymous said...

Exceeded his authority. Call his bluff.

Anonymous said...

12:18 am Few of the elected representatives on either side of the aisle bother to read any bill.
They rely on the committee members or author of the bill to tell them what it says. They are " too busy" to read bills.
And, if there's a bill that interests you and you go there and try to talk to them about the specifics of the O, you will learn that very quickly!
This happens at the Congressional level as well. Only they rely on young staffers.
The end result is sentences and legal language that favors special interests or deep pockets get hidden in bills.
Of course, reading the bill doesn't help much as few listen on our legislative level, but they can't pretend it was " too much to read". That's a BS too as they have staff and there's a summary section by section in Congressional bills. I always loved pointing that out to those in Congress who didn't ever get past the cover page.

Anonymous said...

Remember the MAEP election fight? One Hinds County judge. Turns out their cry had some merit.

Anonymous said...

11:59
If you are going to make snarky posts about others, learn the difference between a Congressman and a state legislator before you do it again.

Anonymous said...

Gunn should request an order that all Democratic members be required to be in their seats the entire time the bills are being read aloud. If even one leaves then the requirement to read becomes null and void!

Anonymous said...

Not a political question or a separation of powers issue. Even the Legislature has to follow the Constituion.

Anonymous said...

6:55, I think you missed the joke.

Anonymous said...

What a shame. The St. Andrew's policy debate team, which is capable of reading the densest political theory at 350 words per minute, was hoping for its moment in the sun.

Anonymous said...

Let's pass it to find out what is in it?

Anonymous said...

I agree with 11:37 PM and 7:56 AM. The Courts may examine whether the legislature has complied with the constitution. It is simplistic to think that the review of any action of the legislature is a political question or a separation of powers issue. For example, a political question would arise if a Court had tried to intervene earlier this year in the house seating the Republican who pulled the short straw. The Constitution grants the legislature to power to seat its members. A justiciable non-political question would would have resulted if the house tried to seat both the Democrat and Republican from the same district since that constitution directs a single member from each district. In the present situation, Hughes alleges that the legislature is acting in conflict with the constitution by not "reading" the bills. That is not a political question. The Courts would be well within their authority to determine whether the legislature is following the constitution.

Anonymous said...

The Republicans have abused their absolute power. The Democrats are just trying to fight back some. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. that is why the Republican House overthrew the election in Smith county to gain a super majority.

I am a Republican.

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with having to read something before signing it. If we could only get the politicians to listen to what is read to them.
We have way too many bills passed that not a single politician really has read or knows what is in it.
Reading every bill should be a law.

I am the Pope said...

I am a Republican.

Not germane. Doesn't make your anonymous opinion more weighty.

Anonymous said...

Everyone is missing a key point. Did Speaker Gunn comply with the order?

Anonymous said...

what does "read" mean? it means that the bills are vocally recited aloud. beyond that, the courts do not have the power to dictate procedure to the legislature. the democrats are pathetic for putting this pressure on Judge Kidd. another good example of why original jurisdiction judges should not be elected.

Anonymous said...

So sad the democrats can't read. However, its the taxpayers money they are spending by slowing down the process. I don't want my money wasted with tricks and games. GET TO WORK folks.

Anonymous said...

These dead beat legislators probably did this to insure the session is extended indefinitely so they can continue to receive the newly increased per diem of $140.00 a day. However since the state (and city of Jackson)have unlimited funds I don't see any problem.

Anonymous said...

11:03 Many of us Mississippi citizens listen to the webcast of the House to keep up with what is going on at our Capitol. We would like to hear and understand what is in the bills that are steam rolled through the process now. It is offensive to me to listen to the speeded up nonsense that the Speaker is requiring. He represents all the people of the state, not just one party.

Anonymous said...

That's dumb, 1:08. You can read all of the bills online, and they've been there for weeks (some for months). Call this what it is - obstructionism.

Anonymous said...

The super duper speedo reading computer is an abuse, but the worst abuse is for a circuit judge to get involved.

While the provision of section 68 is obligatory on the legislature, its disregard of it is beyond the reach of courts, which are not keepers of the consciences of legislators, and deal only with what they do, and not what they should have done or omitted. We would not be understood as holding that the “dramshop” law is a revenue bill or law, but, if it was, it would not be affected by what is alleged as to when it was passed. The fact that it was passed within the last five days of the session, and did not receive three fifths of the votes of members voting, if it be a fact, is not a matter of which courts will take cognizance. If members of the legislature violate their oaths by disregarding the plain directions of the constitution the courts are powerless to redress the wrong, except as to matters apparent in their finished action. The constitution, as to mere rules of procedure prescribed for the legislature, is committed to the members individually and collectively, and the houses are intended as a mutual check, and the governor on both, and courts will not inquire into the antecedents of legislative enactments, and have no claim to be present at the parturition. This duty begins when legislative travail is over.

Anonymous said...

But you aren't offended about the bills that aren't read? You are a fraud.

Anonymous said...

The Constitutional provision for reading of the bills was put in over a century ago because a number of the legislators could not read for themselves. Today, they are given a copy of the bill electronically, and for the few that don't want to use their government provided laptops they are given a printed copy. For those of you (like 1:08) that want to 'keep up' - if you have the interest to listen to the webcast, pull up the bill on the same site and read it for yourself.

Most of what is in the bills is the existing law. In order to make a change, the entire statute has to be put in the bill and only the changes that are made matter. There is no reason to have to read a couple of dozen (or a couple of hundred) pages of printed words when the only part of it that matters is the few sentences of changes.

That is true even when the issue is not a delaying tactic. For an appropriation bill (which is what the Senate was dealing with yesterday and today) the only thing that changes from previous year's bills is the dollar amount included. Why do you need to read thirty pages in order to understand a few numbers? Unless, of course, you just want to be obstinate.

Anonymous said...

State senators sued Lieutenant Governor, seeking injunctive relief in connection with Lieutenant Governor's refusal to comply with senator's request that conference report presented to Senate be read in full. The Hinds County Chancery Court, Denise Owens, J., granted declaratory and injunctive relief to senators. Lieutenant Governor appealed. The en banc Supreme Court, Pittman, C.J., held that: (1) trial court's order violated separation of powers doctrine, and (2) trial court proceedings were irregular and contrary to law.

Tuck v. Blackmon, 798 So. 2d 402 (Miss. 2001).

Anonymous said...

Don't know why you people are shocked. Democrats can't run anything. Look at all of the states including Jackson that democrats run, everyone of them are in the red financially and screwed up. And don't forget our country. Amen

Anonymous said...

3:31, you should read up on the disastrous budget messes in Louisiana, Kansas and Wisconsin that resulted from massive revenue cuts. You must surely be delighted that Governor Bryant and the legislative leadership is intent on taking us down the same path.

Anonymous said...

It is so great to have Babs back in the Senate. There is no Senator in all of Mississippi who can hold more marbles in their mouth than Babs Blackmon. If only the 'Barbara Blackmon Show' was still on the air statewide. Following the closed captioning while Babs babbled was Mississippi TV comedy at its very finest!

Devine 1816 said...

I've got a confession to make: I still have it on TiVo, and I am so definitely watching it. But I was literally not able to sit through it and eat dinner at the same time. I've heard Sen. Blackmon speak--she's a charismatic speaker under normal circumstances--but someone had told her to talk slowly for the camera or something, and it was driving me nuts because that wasn't her, you know? Where was Barbara Blackmon, and who was this strange, emotionless doppelganger?

Dr. Tom Head
-- Jackson Free Press
-- April 17, 2006

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Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

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There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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