Reverend Jeffery Stallworth will have to take his fight to stop the state takeover of Jackson's airports back to the airwaves after a federal judge kicked his lawsuit out of court. Reverend Stallworth sued Governor Phil Bryant in April to stop the transfer of ownership of Jackson's airports from Jackson to a regional board of commissioners appointed by various officials and governments.
Reverend Stallworth is a former member of the JMAA Board of Commissioners. He argued that SB #2162 is a "hostile takeover" of the airports and that such a takeover violated his constitutional rights. U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves stated:
Stallworth’s complaint also included claims against the Mississippi Department of Transportation and an entity called East Metro Parkway. He alleged that these defendants were developing property nearer to white citizens than black citizens, which in turn was harming the value of his approximately 100 acres of investment property on the west side of Jackson. After conferring with the Magistrate Judge, Stallworth’s claims against these defendants were severed. They remain pending in a separate lawsuit.However, the defendants argued that Reverend Stallworth had no standing to challenge the new law. Judge Reeves said the good Reverend lacked standing and there was no "taking" of his property. The property that might be "taken" belonged to JMAA and the City of Jackson. Judge Reeves dismissed his lawsuit with prejudice.
The City of Jackson and JMAA filed a motion to intervene that was approved. The fight between them and Governor Bryant continues in court.