Dear Fellow Mississippians--In sending out this message, Hosemann is setting himself up as the only ideologically pure Republican in the lawsuit. This is a very interesting move for Hosemann to make, and is in response to something that has been developing in the pleadings over the course of this month.
As a fervent believer in State's rights and the State Constitution, it is incomprehensible to me that the State of Mississippi would willingly toss Redistricting, such an important issue to all Mississippians, into Federal Court. Redistricting is the cornerstone of determining who represents your interests. It is key to your representation and your voice in government. Now, some individuals seek to limit your ability to have a voice in your elected leadership by pitching the responsibility to the Federal Court system in the form of a lawsuit, rather than follow a process clearly outlined in the State Constitution.
The State Constitution states, "Should the Legislature adjourn, without apportioning itself as REQUIRED hereby, the governor by proclamation shall reconvene the legislature within thirty (30) days in a special apportionment session...and it shall be the MANDATORY duty of the Legislature to adopt a joint resolution of apportionment. Should a special apportionment session not adopt a joint resolution of apportionment as REQUIRED hereby, a five-member commission consisting of the chief justice of the Supreme Court as chairman, the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, the speaker of the House of Representatives and president pro tempore of the Senate shall immediately convene within one hundred eighty days (180) of adjournment of such special apportionment session apportion the legislature..."
The State Constitution, the foundation of our State's rights, provides a clear roadmap for redistricting. Legislators were elected by their fellow citizens to perform this important task every ten years following the decennial census. Legislators failed to accomplish redistricting this year, but the State Constitution gives lawmakers another year to approve new lines. Redistricting should be completed by representatives and senators elected on the STATE level by citizens of this STATE and in accordance with the State CONSTITUTION.
The NAACP v. Barbour, Hood, Hosemann, et.al, lawsuit was filed only 42 days AFTER the census was delivered to the Legislature and BEFORE the Constitutional process was exhausted. In an attempt to skew the lines in their favor, individuals sought federal intervention to place what is clearly a state issue into the hands of the United States government.
So what is a REASONABLE time for the Legislature to finish the redistricting process? Article 13, Section 254 clearly says, "The Legislature shall, at its regular session in the SECOND year following the 1980 decennial census and every ten (10) years thereafter...apportion the state in accordance with CONSTITUTION of the state and of the United States..."
What other parts of the Constitution will be IGNORED for political expendency by a group seeking advantages for their own political agenda?
When we lose the roadmap of our Government (the Constitution), we lose our direction as a State.
When this lawsuit was in its infancy, the Mississippi Republican Party was clearly wanted a "run twice" scenario, with the first set of elections to be held this year under the old lines. But with the filing of their Motion for Appointment of an Expert, the Mississippi Republican Party and Gov. Haley Barbour started pushing a new angle. Essentially, the MSGOP and Barbour want the judges to draw new maps and impose them right away. That is, of course, exactly the sort of abdication of state power that Hosemann is railing against.