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Mississippi Supreme Court chief justice dismissed in lawsuit against HB 1020

Photo courtesy of the Mississippi Supreme Court

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Randolph has been dismissed from his involvement in a federal lawsuit filed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Henry Wingate approved Randolph’s motion to be removed from the case against the controversial House Bill 1020 due to the Doctrine of Judicial Immunity.

The bill — which creates a new court to hear all preliminary and criminal matters within the expanded Capital Complex Improvement District — requires that the judge be appointed by the Mississippi Supreme Court instead of by a vote.

In mid-May, Wingate temporarily blocked Randolph from appointing judges in the city of Jackson before HB 1020 went into effect by handing down a temporary restraining order (TRO) to prevent a possible skewing of the legal process.

Now, Wingate has decided to remove Randolph from the lawsuit altogether, explaining in the 24-page order that his decision came as the doctrine “shelters judges from lawsuits, whether declaratory or injunctive, when the judge, within his jurisdiction, performs a ‘judicial act.'”

Governor Tate Reeves’ name has also been removed from the lawsuit, as the NAACP filed a notice of voluntary dismissal of their claims against Reeves on Thursday.

At this time, the NAACP plans to continue to prevent HB 1020 from appointing judges to the positions by seeking a temporary injunction.

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