Oral arguments slated for July 6 in Jackson residents’ challenge to H.B. 1020

Signage denotes the Carroll Gartin Justice Building in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020....
Signage denotes the Carroll Gartin Justice Building in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020. Both the Mississippi Supreme Court and the Mississippi Court of Appeals maintain offices and courtrooms in the building. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)(Rogelio V. Solis | AP)
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 5:21 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Jackson residents seeking to block a controversial piece of legislation from going into effect have been granted a sped up briefing schedule.

On Thursday, the Mississippi Supreme Court approved a motion for expedited consideration in a lawsuit that challenges provisions of H.B. 1020 and state statute.

The suit was filed by the ACLU and MacArthur Justice Center earlier this year on behalf of Ann Saunders, Sabreen Sharrief and Dorothy Triplett, who say the bill violates their constitutional rights as Jackson voters.

The challenge seeks to block elements of the law requiring the chief justice of the Supreme Court to appoint four additional judges to the Hinds County Circuit Court and another judge to preside over a special inferior court.

The inferior court would handle cases that originate in the Capitol Complex Improvement District.

Gov. Tate Reeves signed the bill into law in April.

The trio also are challenging the constitutionality of a separate state statute that allows the chief justice to appoint judges to lower state courts in certain situations.

A Hinds County chancellor dismissed the suit in May prompting the case to be appealed.

According to the order handed down by Justice Josiah Coleman on Thursday, appellants’ briefs must be filed on or before May 31. Appellees’ must file no later than June 14. Any replies to those briefs have to be submitted on or before June 19.

Oral arguments in the case will be held before the entire court on July 6.

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