JACKSON, MISS– The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has denied Governor Phil Bryant’s motion to stay the block on HB 1523, known as the Religious Accommodations Act.
The court’s order stated:: “This court has considered the State’s motion on the basis of the briefs, the detailed opinion of the district court, and the applicable law. Mindful that we are considering only whether to grant a stay of a preliminary injunction pending appeal, and further considering that our decision maintains the status quo in Mississippi as it existed before the Legislature’s passage and attempted enactment of HB 1523, the State’s motion for stay pending appeal is DENIED, as is its motion to expedite this appeal.”
The motion to stay filed by Governor Bryant was in response to U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves having denied the motion to let the Religious Liberties Accommodation Act, known as HB 1523, take effect while it was still in the appeals process.
Governor Bryant responded to the courts decision today and said “We are reviewing the Court’s order, which does not address the merits of the case. House Bill 1523 is a commonsense provision that protects the religious liberty of all Mississippians, while respecting the rights of all. We look forward to defending HB 1523 vigorously on appeal.”
HB 1523 was the most controversial bill passed by the legislature in the 2016 session. Judge Reeves blocked the bill from becoming law on June 30, just hours before it would have been enacted. Governor Bryant appealed the decision as promised, but Attorney General Jim Hood refused to appeal, citing how costly it would be to the state’s budget and image.