Monday, February 11, 2019

Gilbert Wants to Make Feds Pay

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann issued the following statement.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann and Attorney General Jim Hood filed suit today against the federal government on behalf of school children in three districts in southwest Mississippi alleging an unconstitutional taking of almost 8,000 acres of 16th Section land.

“This is a historic day for our State,” Secretary Hosemann said. “Today, our State and three public school districts allege the United States has taken property deeded to Mississippi 200 years ago.”

The allegations in the complaint, filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, stem from artificial flooding caused by the Old River Control Structure, a water control project under the purview of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Launched in the early 1950s, the project sought to change the natural course of water flowing from the Mississippi River to the Atchafalaya River by diverting more water down the Mississippi River. The goal was to prevent damage to cities in Louisiana, including Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

The project, however, failed to account for the inevitable destruction of Mississippi land. Over the years, artificial flooding from the Structure has caused increased siltation, deterioration of wildlife habitats, tree mortality, and other problems on private and public land along Mississippi River.

The lawsuit, which alleges the federal government’s artificial flooding amounts to an unconstitutional taking, seeks at least $25 million in damages on almost 8,000 acres of 16th Section land. The U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment Takings Clause requires the government to pay “just” compensation when it takes property for public use.

“All of the money raised by the leasing of 16th Section lands, timber sales, and other transactions related to these properties goes directly to our public schools,” said Secretary Hosemann, who serves as supervisory trustee of 16th Section land. “When this public trust land is destroyed unlawfully, our children are the ones who suffer. The only responsible action is for the federal government to make our school districts whole.”

General Hood agreed.

“The federal government has caused thousands of acres of land in southwest Mississippi to flood, killing timber and, in essence, taking property from Mississippians. Every 16th section (generally containing 640 acres) out of a 36 section township and range was kept by the state to hold in trust for the public schools in that county; many counties contain several 16th sections,” General Hood said. “The school boards, with oversight by the Secretary of State, have a duty to make sure that the lands earn the most revenues possible from sources such as hunting and farming leases and sale of timber and oil. I have a duty to make sure that no individual, company, or even the federal government takes property from our state, its citizens and, particularly, our children without paying for it.”

The school districts represented in the lawsuit include the Claiborne County School District (657 impacted acres), Natchez-Adams School District (5,540 impacted acres), and the Wilkinson County School District (1,734 impacted acres).

Sixteenth Section land is select property in each county set aside when the State was formed for the benefit of public schools. Across the State, about 640,000 acres of 16th Section land are held in trust for 101 school districts. For more information about 16th Section land in Mississippi, visit


Anonymous said...

This lawsuit is completely stupid. I hope the federal judge throws it out. Mississippi needs to get rid of 16ht section land. We are the last state that has 16th section land.

Animal Mother said...

People always said The South Will Rise Again
Let's see how this battle turns out.

I'm guessing they Feds will settle quickly.

Anonymous said...

8:30 Idiot. Not happening.

8:41 No idea what you are saying.

Delbert and Hood, interesting connection. Looks like another salvo into Fort Reeves. If Delbert goes moderate and does a few more press releases with Hood, Tater is done. Delbert is by far the most popular name on the ticket in November. If Delbert wins his primary, and if Delbert thinks Tate is an ass like the rest of us do and Delbert decides to screw Tate, then he could swing this election.

Animal Mother said...

Mississippi politicians are going to fight a court battle with the Federal gubmint over state's rights you do not see the humorous Civil War reference?

The Ghosts of Gideon Fitz and Andrew Ellicott said...

Ha! Good luck with THAT!

Anonymous said...

25 million ??? Hell ole Thad use to get more out of the Feds than that during a Sunday afternoon wine sippin. #chickenfeed

Compass and Chain said...

Dilbert has the Original Township Surveys AND Field Notes to the Surveys conducted in Mississippi from the early 1800's in his office. But it would be much easier to look at a MDOT prepared County Map. Show me 12 and 1/2 regular 16th Sections (12.5 x 640 =8,000) along or near the Mississippi River in Claiborne, Adams and Wilkinson Counties amongst all the irregular Spanish Land Grants in that area of our State, cause I aint seein' em cause they never existed!

Anonymous said...

That's not much money and I don't trust Hood. The pipsqueak at 8:30 needs to get over himself. It matters not what you think 'ought to be done' or that we are the last with 16th section. Point is, we have it, it's state law and state's rights. And both of them are bound to enforce the law.

Anonymous said...

All BS posturing by Doofbert for attention. Frivolous lawsuit purely for political points? Likely. But yes, interesting angle playing off the limp noodle Conway Twitty.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Trump will give them some of that whopping 1.4 billion he's geting to steal folks land in Texas.

Anonymous said...

If this is true, why wasn’t this claim brought decades ago? Is this something they just now “discovered “?

Cynical Sam said...

@9:16PM - Weren't those mint juleps?

Anonymous said...

Dilbert's recent campaign video of him in hunting garb (brand new right off the shelf) makes me want to puke. He's not the dude you see in the hokie commercials.

Anonymous said...


Nah, The mint juleps were drank back here at the celebration when he brought the pork shipment home.

Check Your Pocket Constitution said...

Statutes of limitation generally do not run against the sovereign.

Anonymous said...

This couldn't be a stunt to generate publicity for them BOTH running for offices? Nah, couldn't be.

Anonymous said...


Yep and it disappoints me that Hosemann participated. Conway ? Not so much.

Miss Anthrope said...

“Gilbert”? “Dilbert”? “Doofbert”? Making fun of someone’s given name is in very bad taste, unless it happens to be a really funny riff, which none of these are. Likewise, “Philbilly” and “Feel” have long ago stopped sounding clever. Now, “Tater” is another matter, and meets every criterion of suitability, because that dreadful little hobbit truly does resemble a version of Mr. Potato Head.

Anonymous said...

There have already been two successful lawsuits (involving state property) filed under this theory in other states along the Mississippi, and the damage to timber only became apparent a couple of years ago. Kudos for trying to get money back for our schools.

Anonymous said...

can you say COUNTERCLAIM? be careful what you ask for. dont bite the hand that feeds you. the state better hope that the feds dont counterclaim for the untold billions they have pumped into this state, most of which was squandered, in order to keep this state from becoming the third world backwater that it is in reality. the very idea that these 2 people think the feds are indebted to this banana republic called mississippi is laughable.

Anonymous said...

Phil Trump and Tater are all lame ducks.

Anonymous said...

States rights (check)
Evil tyrannical government abuses (check)
The environment (check)
Monies owed (check)
School funding (check)
US and State constitution (check)
Sovereign State of Mississippi (check)

Anonymous said...

First, "Claiborne County School District (657 impacted acres), Natchez-Adams School District (5,540 impacted acres), and the Wilkinson County School District (1,734 impacted acres)."

Each 16th section is only 640 acres. So, first, how do Hosemann, Hood and the districts have standing to claim damage to acres not a part of 16th section land, and second, I wonder who owns those acres in excess of the the 640? Based on what is here, I cannot see this ending well for the Plaintiff or its taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't take much timber to get a million ask Roger Wicker.

Anonymous said...

@8:23 Exactly. It's political grandstanding on the taxpayer's dime. Judge should throw it out, and then sanction those two hicks.

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