SuperTalk Mississippi

State Supreme Court hears arguments over ‘demon chipmunk’ bill reading machine

JACKSON, Miss. –Tuesday the Mississippi Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of democratic Rep. Jay Hughes vs. republican House Speaker Philip Gunn. Hughes is suing Gunn over the use of a bill reading machine during 2015-2016 legislative session.

The state’s highest court Will decide whether or not it has jurisdiction over procedures in the legislative branch.

In a move to try to filibuster conservative legislation during the most recent legislative session, democrats asked that certain bills be read aloud before being considered for a vote.  This practice is promised by law according to the state’s 1890 constitution. It was intended to help those representatives who couldn’t read.

Speaker Philip Gunn had the bills read aloud by the bill reading machine, but the speed was cranked up so high, none of the words were understandable.

Mike Wallace represented Philip Gun and said, “It’s hard for me to imagine how a personable right, a right to life, liberty or property, could be imperiled by an internal preceding by the House of Representatives.”

Wallace added that he does not see how this issue could be up to the courts.

“I don’t believe Mississippi courts under the judicial power of section 144, which has not been amended, has the authority to punish the speaker, even though the speaker may have acted grossly,” said, Wallace.

Jay Hughes’ attorney S. Ray Hill III argued, “He’s not reading it, no one can understand a word that is being said, and for that very reason, it Is probably one of the most gross violations, of a section of the constitution, that we’ve seen.”

The court has taken the arguments under advisement.

No time frame has been given for when a decision will be made.

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