Sunday, December 31, 2023

Wingate to NAACP on CCID Court: Stop Right There

 The NAACP and its plaintiffs, Frank Figgers, Derrick Johnson, Markyel Pittman, Charles Jones, and Nsombi Half-bright struck out in federal court today after U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate denied their request for an injunction that blocked the creation of the CCID Court under HB #1020.  

The NAACP sued to block the creation of the CCID Court in U.S. District Court.  Judge Wingate held a hearing on December 19 and promised to rule on the motion by the end of the year and by the end of the year he did as he issued his opinion this afternoon.  The NAACP wasn't satisfied with Judge Wingate and filed a similar motion last week but with the word "emergency" attached.  Judge Wingate denied that motion, thus leaving the original motion to be decided.  

OK, here we go, we got a real pressure cooker going here,Two down, nobody on, no score, bottom of the ninth,There's the windup, and there it is, a line shot up the middle,Look at him go. This boy can really fly! He's rounding first and reallyTurning it on now, he's not letting up at all, he's gonna try forSecond; the ball is bobbled out in center, and here comes theThrow, and what a throw! He's gonna slide in head first, here heComes, he's out! No, wait, safe-safe at second base, this kidReally makes things happen out there. Batter steps up to thePlate, here's the pitch-he's going, and what a jump he's got,He's trying for third, here's the throw, it's in the dirt-safe atThird! Holy cow, stolen base! He's taking a pretty big lead outThere, almost daring him to try and pick him off. The pitcherGlances over, winds up, and it's bunted, bunted down the thirdBase line, the suicide squeeze is on! Here he comes, squeezePlay, it's gonna be close, holy cow, I think he's gonna make it!

Judge Wingate said the NAACP lacked standing to sue and the assorted plaintiffs had not suffered an injury to give them standing as well. 

Ok folks, I'm not going to lie.  It's New Year's Eve.  I just came across the opinion and well, it's posted below.  Oh, the NAACP filed a notice of appeal as well.  



Anonymous said...

King - who would have standing? A youth charged with a misdemeanor $925 computer shoplifted from Target?

In truth, a misdemeanor court does nothing to abate the crime in Jackson.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Reading that was a full court press on the NAACP. Asses thoroughly spanked

Paul Mitchell said...

Is this Frank Figgers the same guy that used to run the Sherwin-Williams on the I-55 North frontage road?

Anonymous said...

And anyone convicted in CCID court will just get it appealed for a new trial to the circuit/county court where it will languish for ages until it’s dismissed by some “special” judge for lack of prosecution 5 years later (see Beth Ann White DUIs).

Anonymous said...

Wingate is. To be commended for integrity, honesty and overall ethics as they apply to the law. He has always first and foremost stood up for the citizens of MS and the CCID; along with Hinds County resident who reside in the COJ. Thank you for thinking of the less fortunate and their safety first! Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Playing the "race card" isn't an option. So sad.

Anonymous said...

Appeal underway

The victims are convinced they have been victimized.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting, Kingfish.

Read the opinion. Straightforward, exact, and applying the law. Great job, Judge. Thank goodness.

Footnote in opinion references plaintiff’s claims:
"Plaintiffs include Black voters who regularly vote in Jackson and Hinds County elections, who live in Jackson and the CCID, who are threatened with prosecution and conviction by the CCID Inferior Court prosecutors and judge, and who stand to lose the benefits they enjoyed from having locally accountable prosecutors and judges...... Plaintiffs will imminently suffer injuries to their rights as voters and interests as residents"

Wait, what? Lose the benefits they enjoyed from having locally accountable prosecutors and judges? I wish the Judge would have point blank said--please tell the court what "benefits" you are receiving?

Judge: The organizational Defendants further state that they are also bringing this lawsuit on their own behalf under the theory that their members will indubitably require training to navigate the new laws, which will divert “significant funds away from the ordinary work of the NAACP, the Mississippi NAACP, and the Jackson NAACP and will limit their advocacy.”

Wait, what? require training to navigate the new laws? What training? On how to receive "benefits"?

Judge: Plaintiffs, during this oral argument, argued that they have identified three independent types of injury: “The first being that the HB 1020 change of the system of local government here deprives plaintiffs of the benefit of having the system of local government and local governance enjoined by people across the state in all municipalities”. Second, argued the Plaintiffs, the new law will “dilute the voting power of plaintiffs and other voters in Jackson”. Lastly, Plaintiffs asserted that the law “stigmatizes plaintiffs and other Jackson voters by deeming them as unfit to have a say in their system of local governance”

Wait, what?

What the 3 individuals claimed:
Frank Figgers-
The appointed judge will not be “well integrated into the community”; “they will not attend our churches and schools”; “[the] appointees may not be from Jackson and they will be unknown and unaccountable to residents ”; defendants in the CCID Court will probably be exposed to increased criminal penalties and harsher sentences; “Jackson residents will be forced to appear in court in front of judges and prosecutors who do not understand our struggles and who are beholden to politicians who are not elected by us and who have no need to account to us.”


Anonymous said...


Markyel Pittman-
“ I can now be prosecuted by prosecutors designated by the Attorney General in cases heard by a municipal judge appointed by the Chief Justice”; “I believe that this is the purpose of H.B.1020: To deprive residents of Jacksons, like me, from being able to exercise control over or even influence the systems of law enforcement and the administration of justice to which we are subject”; “I fear the consequences that this purposeful denial of our political control will allow”; “I have heard from a number of friends who have had troubling run-ins with the Capitol Police”
(Judge: This court notes that Mr. Pittman’s last statement is hearsay)

Charles Taylor-
“I do not believe either the [Chief Justice or State Attorney General] will appoint judges or prosecutors whose political and law enforcement beliefs align with my own”; “I firmly believe that the circumstances surrounding the passage of H.B. 1020 demonstrate the Mississippi Legislature’s intent to take power from our Black-elected and Black-led institutions and provide control instead to White, State Officials”

Wait, what? Judge: Certain of the Plaintiffs contend that the presently-planned appointment scenario would affect “their ability to oversee those judges through [their] local elected officials”. Yet, Mr. Figgers who essentially complains that the present scenario would suffocate and extinguish his “right” to complain effectively to local officials about the operation of the CCID Court, has failed to show that he effectively complained to any local officials in the past. In fact, none of the Plaintiffs shows that he or she has effectively complained to the local officials in the past, or even that local elected officials have been open to listening to his or her complaints. Further, had the local officials been so obliging, this court is mystified why Jackson’s system of criminal justice is in the deplorable shape it is in, with an overcrowded docket requiring defendants to jettison any notion of a speedy disposition.

Judge: This court is persuaded that neither the race and residence of the individual Plaintiffs; nor their status as registered voters; nor their membership in the NAACP has any bearing whatsoever on the question of standing in this litigation

Judge: Seeking to salvage various claims, especially their claims against the Chief Justice, Plaintiffs filed a motion to amend their complaint. This court, unpersuaded by any arguments in favor of such, hereby DENIES that motion to amend.

Incredible job by the Judge.
My apologies, Kingfish, for the length. Just can't pass these things up.

Anonymous said...

I like the fact that Judge Wingate has no fear of these professional whiners.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe people say the things they said. Reading the quotes in this Order make me believe 100% that certain people (those quoted) care nothing about justice and safety. It is all about control and ego.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!

Anonymous said...

The plaintiffs argue that the appointed judges will not be from the community they judge, having similar interests and experiences. Us football fans can make a similar argument when they assign referees from a neutral conference to officiate "our" football games. Our games should be officiated by our neighbors from Oxford, Starkville, or Jackson. That way we can be assured that they will treat "US" fairly. That's what officiating (or judging) is all about, right? Right.

Anonymous said...

Figgers sounds mad he wouldn't be able to violate MS Code § 97-9-55 (2020) willy nilly.

Anonymous said...

Judge Wingate does not suffer fools.

Anonymous said...

11:28 AM, Judge Wingate is an American hero; and there aren’t many like him left. Judge Wingate served his country in a war he did not have anything to do with waging, then came home with the guts to proudly wear his uniform, when many if not most understandably would not, due to the extreme mistreatment of America’s service men by fools too indoctrinated to place the blame squarely on the immoral politicians totally responsible for the Vietnam war disaster.

Just a normal dude said...

The last paragraph of this epic beatdown, by Judge Wingate: "Seeking to salvage various claims, especially their claims against the Chief Justice, Plaintiffs filed a motion to amend their complaint[Docket no. 80]. This court, unpersuaded by any arguments in favor of such, hereby DENIES that motion to amend."

Would love to see that motion, but I suppose it will be coming out in their "appeal" from this shellacking. This whole genre of 5th district and 5th circuit court judges looking askance at specious claims of injury due solely to race needs a name. I nominate "Jim Crow 2 (Your honor, I thought we were friends!)". I guess the "we are black and they are white" lawsuits have hit a dead-end road in Judge Wingate's courtroom.

Anonymous said...

@8:28, I guess the "we are black and they are white" lawsuits have hit a dead-end road in Judge Wingate's courtroom.

And its incredibly refreshing.

Anonymous said...

@11:28am I enjoy every minute of Judge Wingate sticking it to these people. With that lifetime appointment, he can do damn near anything and not be bothered one bit.

Anonymous said...

If the plaintiffs spend this much time working with the people they say they are trying to protect our State wound be in a better position.

PS, If I get in trouble with the law I’ll state my case and move on regardless if my judge is appointed or elected. Anyway who is going to ask is the judge appointed or elected just stay out of trouble!!!

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