GOP Considers Lawsuit

By: Jeff Shepard
By: Jeff Shepard

While speaking to Meridian's Rotary Club Monday, the chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party said it's time to take the special interest groups out of the political process.

Jim Herring, Chairman of the state GOP, said the group is planning to file a lawsuit, challenging the state law that currently prohibits political parties in the state from endorsing or contributing money to appellate judicial candidates.

"We think that law violates the First Amendment's freedom of speech to begin with," said Herring. "But we think that the political parties should be involved in the judicial selection process."

Herring said the law was originally passed with good intentions, but has since backfired.

"The law was passed originally to take the judges out of politics," said Herring. "In reality, what has happened is it's just allowed special interests groups to get involved in the judicial selection process. The trial lawyers, the doctors and the chambers of commerce."

Former Mississippi Congressman Sonny Montgomery said special interest groups weren't a huge factor in his decision-making process.

"But I found out, you say, listen, this is the way I feel about it," said Montgomery, who served 30 years in Congress. "You'll have to accept that I'm gonna vote like this, and will you please not harass me anymore?" said Montgomery. "And people will go ahead and move out and not bother you."

Herring said that the purpose of the lawsuit is to get the system to work and stop people from working the system.


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