Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Hood will not appeal 1523 ruling

Attorney General Jim Hood issued the following statement :

Statement by Attorney General Jim Hood on HB 1523

After careful review of the law, and the social and fiscal impacts of HB 1523, I have decided not to appeal the Federal Court's injunction in this case against me. I am convinced that continuing this divisive and expensive litigation is not in the best interests of the state of Mississippi or its taxpayers.
First, both HB 1523's critics and supporters acknowledge that the bill did not change state or federal law. For example, there is no state law requiring pastors to marry same-sex couples, and I doubt that theLegislature would ever pass one.  Moreover, the Mississippi Legislature has already passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act which protects a person's right to exercise his or her religious beliefs.  HB 1523's critics and supporters also recognize that HB 1523 cannot overturn or preempt federal law.  As acknowledged by our Governor, HB 1523 is not a defense to a federal lawsuit.
Simply stated, all HB 1523 has done is tarnish Mississippi's image while distracting us from the more pressing issues of decaying roads and bridges, underfunding of public education, the plight of the mentally ill and the need to solve our state's financial mess.
Instead of focusing on these critical issues, our state leaders have given away the store by handing tax breaks to big corporations that neither need nor deserve them. Due to the leadership's corporate handouts, corporations have paid $117.8 million less in taxes in FY2016 than FY2015, according to the Legislative Budget Office.  That is a 16 percent tax cut for big corporations in one year. These corporate tax cuts will conservatively increase to at least $181 million during this fiscal year, according to LBO. In addition to the $56 million legislative "mistake", at least another $79 million will not be available next year, for a bare minimum of a $135 million budget hole. The numbers do not lie that we have a budget crisis that will cause a danger to our families from the mentally ill problem alone.
Second, to appeal HB 1523 and fight for an empty bill that dupes one segment of our population into believing it has merit while discriminating against another is just plain wrong. I don't believe that's the way to carry out Jesus' primary directives to protect the least among us and to love thy neighbor.
But make no mistake, the Office of Attorney General is prepared to protect religious freedoms and defend our First Amendment rights if and when the facts so justify in future cases.
Public employees, including elected officials, have an unspoken contract with the state to follow the law. Misinformation that, without HB 1523, pastors, churches, bakers, wedding planners or other private service providers will be forced to violate their religious beliefs has been used repeatedly to frighten our citizens into supporting the dogmatic politicians who use religion for political gain.
In the event that the Federal Court's injunction was overturned on appeal, this litigation would not end. These cases would be set for a full evidentiary trial.  Other challenges would likely be filed.  The state would face years of additional and expensive litigation over HB 1523's implementation.  My office is already spending its limited resources defending numerous lawsuits challenging recent bills enacted by the Legislature regarding abortion restrictions, MAEP funding, Planned Parenthood funding, the Jackson-Evers International Airport and charter schools. In addition, my office will continue to try to serve the families of homicide victims as well as surviving victims of domestic violence, human trafficking and other violent crimes, including our injured law enforcement officers, firefighters and first responders.  We will attempt to do all of this as the Legislature hands out ill-advised tax cuts to corporations, runs a budget deficit, slashes funding for this office and other state agencies, and cuts critical services to citizens.
I will, however, continue to monitor the lawsuits regarding HB 1523 and may appeal the federal court's June 27 decision to reopen the closed same-sex marriage case depending on the wording of the Court's final order.  I don't believe a federal court had jurisdiction to extend the previous injunction to all circuit clerks who were not parties.
###


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm so sick of politics.....like Democrats have never participated in corporate welfare!! beef processing plant comes to mind immediately......but moreover, just announce there is no appeal to be had, and leave your politics out of it, your job is to SERVE as all Mississippians Attorney General, not to use your position for political pandering.

Anonymous said...

Cheers to our barrister, Jim Hood! So very eloquently put.

Anonymous said...

No one with an IQ above double digits would have ever passed such a bill in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Need to relabel the headline on this press release.

"Hood announces campaign for Governor; attempts to shoot at Reeves with all barrels at once."

Anonymous said...

I am a Republican, but thank you. This HB has done nothing but to cause harm. I respect the Governor and believe that he believes he is carrying out the will of the People. But he needs to get out of his regular circles.

Anonymous said...

What could be sweeter for Hood: a legally sound decision AND bitchslaps to Bryant, Gunn and Reeves.

Anonymous said...

Hood loses in 2019.

Anonymous said...

@3:53 - AMEN!

Cliff Flinch said...

It's not Hood's job to opine as to the bills passed into law by the legislative branch and signed by the governor. His job is to represent the state.

I think this is the same guy who said he would not have prosecuted Dickie Scruggs because it would be like prosecuting family. Good riddance, soon, to this pompous bitch.

Anonymous said...

@4:56 - Amen

@Cliff Finch - Amen

Anonymous said...

how many "public relations specialists" has Attorney General Hood hired on contract to help explain why he has refused to fulfill his legal responsibility to represent the state?

Anonymous said...

Hey guys. This is a good thing!! Now, the Gov can hire competent attorneys to appeal the ruling.

Anonymous said...

I wonder who wrote this and if they even bothered to email it to Hood in Houston for his approval.

He doesn't live or even come to Jackson often.

And before somebody says "with modern technology he doesn't have to..." I call BS. He was elected to serve. He doesn't.

Anonymous said...

You guys crack me up. Good for Hood. The legislature and Gov are determined to waste tax payer dollars to "defend religious freedom." I call bullshit. All they are doing is invoking fear on an a non-issue. It's all about stirring the pot of fear to get campaign donations.

Current Legislature-"Hey! Look! Over there! They're trying to make gays normal! They're trying to take away your guns! They're trying to abort you babies!"

All the while they're stocking their campaign funds full of idiots' money & spending it lavishly on themselves for non-campaign related expenses. Let's distract & invoke fear & keep attention away from the real issues we should be dealing with. What real issues you ask? For starters, massive tax cuts and incentives to corporations, campaign finance reform, and the list goes on...

Anonymous said...

Panders to the rainbow crowd early. I've noticed how he seems to surround himself with the types of people who gather at capitol steps with cardboard signs.

Anonymous said...

Without corporate tax incentives you have Detroit. But hey, I'm sure all the Democrats will have some "plan" to create (government) jobs that will do nothing but require more taxes from what industry is left.

Anonymous said...

Mississippi politics has always followed the same script: distract the poor dumb rednecks with talk of darkies and commies, yankees, and now queers trying to take over, while sucking them dry to advance the interest of a privileged few. Make them feel threatened in their double-wide by someone else who might want to access their "rights" and you can strip them naked, send them off to fight, tax them into poverty, or cut all state programs. As long as they know they're ahead of "them". No doubt the AG's motives are not all selfless, but at least he got this one right.

Anonymous said...

In this thread...Donna Ladd and Tom Head post multiple times and Amen each other.

Anonymous said...

I'll send a donation to Hood as soon as he announces. Anything, and I mean anything, would beat the gun clinging, young Earth loving, Bud Lite swelling, back door dealing, foot on the neck racists who are running things now.

Anonymous said...

8:25 am You are delusional.
I know more than a few conservatives even those who support the TP who realize this law is bogus and has been from the beginning.
Here's a hint for you: The CEO of Apple is gay. I'm sure you are unimpressed by that hint. Let me help you think since that seems to be one of your weaknesses. Many corporations have key employees who are either gay or who are not evangelicals. And, none of them want to political conflict in the workplace!

Anonymous said...

Does anybody dispute the fact it is Jim Hood's job to represent the state and to defend the laws passed by the legislature? Of course, if you would ever inquire into the quality of work done by the AG's office, you would question whether or not he ever adequately represents the state.

Anonymous said...

A very well written, factually strong piece. Thank goodness someone is there to answer the three stooges, Feel, Tator and Southern Baptist blowhard Gunn. Appeal would be a total waste and totally wrong. Judge Reeves has written a very clear explanation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and of the antidiscrimination clause of the 14th Amendment. Every Mississippian should read it.

Anonymous said...

8:56, sort of hard to defend something that is BS from the beginning. Like another poster mentioned.
"Mississippi politics has always followed the same script: distract the poor dumb rednecks with talk of darkies and commies, yankees, and now queers trying to take over, while sucking them dry to advance the interest of a privileged few"
Maybe a better education would help but this is Ms. A better education is something many find undesirable. Now leaders profiting from their ignorance is something they desire.
Some people are very hard to understand.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Hood on this. This was an embarrassment to the entire state. I realize the biggest business in this state are churches (tax free at that), but it's unknown how much the bad press of this bill has hurt MS based businesses that sell at national and global levels.

Anonymous said...

8:56. The AG is not there to waste our tax money defending the indefensible, no. Don't be an idiot.

Anonymous said...

FWIW, Judge Reeves, like Judge Debra Brown, reflects the power and influence of Bennie Thompson when it comes to selecting federal judges under a Democratic administration. As Mississippi's highest ranking Democratic federal official, Thompson gets to pick our judges and U.S. Attorneys - which is how Reeves and Brown got appointed. That's a coveted power normally reserved to the most senior U.S. Senator in the state who is a member of the same party as the President.

Bottom line - if we get another eight straight years with a Democratic President, Mississippi's federal judiciary is going to look like a Magnolia Bar Association luncheon with veto power over anything that even looks mildly conservative passed by the Mississippi legislature.

Anonymous said...

Sorry folks, but Hood is exactly right on this one. Phil Bryant is humiliating.

Anonymous said...

MS tied at #47 with WV in CNBC's 2016 Top States for Business announced yesterday. "The economy is withering in the Magnolia State despite the nation's lowest cost of living and dirt cheap business costs". We can do better. This Republican is ready for a change. Feel and Tater are an embarrassment.

Anonymous said...

As 1:04 notes, we tried the dirt cheap, no tax/no service, Bible thumping model. It failed. Not, "it might fail," or "it will fail." It failed -- past tense. Businesses want no part of it.

This Republican also is ready for a change. I'm so tired of being embarrassed by this state's leaders.

Anonymous said...

Count me in 1:04 and 2:29. They ARE embarrassing us, and need to get out more. Quit getting advice from rednecks.

Anonymous said...

2:51, and who else would they get advice from without going out of state?

Nipple Ring Alert said...

Actually, with the number of judicially qualified posters on this site (half of them being Tom Head and Donner) there is no need for a hearing, much less an appeal. Skip all that shit and just go with the tassel-toe crowd's opinion.

Anonymous said...

Keep telling yourself that it's just JFP hipsters, 6:10. Denial ain't just a river. I'm a business owner and longtime GOP voter. Everybody with an IQ over 85 is tired of government of, by, and for dumb rednecks.

Anonymous said...

@6:10 go ahead and pass your theocratic law. I want you to do so. IMHO it would qualify as state action against MY religious beliefs (I'm episcopalian btw). And I'm willing to bet that I could find a cadre of lawyers (and plaintiffs) with nothing else better to do than to sue the State of Mississippi based on the RFRA. I would be seeking monetary damages among other things.

I'm tired of you little false prophets running around using religion to oppress people.. Bring it. Not everyone is a hellfire and brimstone Baptist.

Jesus wasn't mean as hell, but you are.

Anonymous said...

That 6:10 pm picks " Nipple ring alert" really says it all. He has to be rigidly religious to fight off his dark sexual thoughts and assumes everyone who isn't controlled by their religious groups have the same dark impulses.

6:47 pm The sick dude doesn't see Episcopalians, or Lutherans or those " Yankee" branches of the Methodist and Presbyterian churches as being " real" Christians. He thinks Catholics all agree with him as well except for that Pope thing and Jews except for that not Messiah thing.
So there's no sense trying to reason with an irrational person.


Anonymous said...

How is it that some posters here know the name of every other poster? Do they have a crystal ball that shows the name of people posting? Do they have to give the OK to anyone before they can post? Do posters have to run their post and name through certain people before posting.
Or is it some posters are so ignorant that they think everyone thinks the way they thing so anyone who disagrees has to be one of two people?

Anonymous said...

Everyone just needs to read Judge Reeve's Opinion which is well researched. Also, just ignore the three stooges: Bryant, Reeves and Gunn. Most people I know are sick of them. The three stooges have ruined what was left of our State's reputation and economic prospects.

Anonymous said...

I dropped a tear this morning reading many of the posts on this here thread

There's an awakening coming from the loyal subjects - they have taken the Red Pill!

Let's make sure we do not carry on Aquanet Phil's legacy by electing Tatoraider Reeves as our next Gub'nor

Anonymous said...

The next governor will be pretty much the same as the many who have gone before him. He, or she, will be either a democrat or a republican. That will be the only qualification they have for the job. Their job performance will show it. People will demand something better and the next election they may elect the other party.
Looks like after so many disappointing years of the same thing people would learn. But this is Ms., #50 with a lock.

Hood's Legacy Will Suck said...

Does it matter what you or I or, for that matter, what Hood thinks about the bill/law. We can rattle on for months about the merits or meanness of the law. The fact is it's Hood's job to defend the state, not to decide which law he likes or doesn't like.

His arrogance, once again, is on display and he chortles at the thought of being reprimanded.

Anonymous said...

1:05, it is the job of the governor and his political buddies not to pass bills that damage the people and the state. If the governor does not do his job why should any other govt employee?

CPA said...

The bill made the state and its citizens look like fools. We lost business and it will take years to recover. All this for bakeries that didn't want to sell cakes to gay couples. You reap what you sow.

PhD said...

We lost business and it will take years to recover.

Exaggerate much?

Anonymous said...

The truth is we will never recover from this lack of leadership and stupidity Any company that decided to go to another state to expand will never think about Ms. again. People who decided not to visit Ms. will not change their mind.
There is a silver lining though. Ms. can't drop any lower. Last place is reserved for Ms. With people and leadership like we have the likelihood of even moving up to 49th is just a dream.

Anonymous said...

The truth is Mississippi is last on every good list and first on every bad list. SOMETHING NEEDS TO CHANGE! We are too "holier than thou" to progress.

Anonymous said...

The people in Ms. like that position. It is easy, no work needed. Not any competition. They tend to elect people who will make sure they stay in the same spot year after year.

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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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