U.S. District Judge hears oral arguments in Mississippi election lawsuit

U.S. District Judge hears oral arguments in Mississippi election lawsuit

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -A federal judge is now considering a Mississippi election lawsuit.

Oral arguments were heard in court Friday morning, just more than three weeks before the general election. Two motions are under consideration in federal court related to this election lawsuit. One is by the defendants, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann and Speaker Philip Gunn. Their attorneys argue the case should be dismissed. Attorney Trey Jones. says it’s a political issue that the court has no business getting into.

The plaintiffs want the judge to block the current election system from being used and let the candidate who wins the popular vote to win outright.

“At the end of the day the plaintiffs deserve to have their constitutional right to vote protected,” said Marina Jenkins with the National Redistricting Foundation.

Under the current system, a candidate needs both the majority of the popular vote and a majority of the 122 House districts. If they don’t win both of those, the election is decided by the House of Representatives.

“This rule was established in the 1890 as part of a constitutional convention to discriminate against African American voters," added Jenkins. "That policy is still in place 130 years later.”

U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan was vocal about his thoughts in the courtroom Friday. He made it clear that there are time constraints and that a ruling could hypothetically create uncertainty about who the Governor is. He did say that if he decides to grant the temporary injunction, it would likely be before the election so that it could go ahead and be sent to the 5th circuit court of appeals. But he made no reference to how or when he plans to rule.

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