NATIONAL NEWS

Federal appeals court temporarily delays new state-run court in Mississippi’s majority-Black capital

Jan 1, 2024, 1:49 PM

FILE - A man walks in front of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Jan. 7, 2015, in New Orleans....

FILE - A man walks in front of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Jan. 7, 2015, in New Orleans. The federal appeals court has temporarily delayed Mississippi officials from creating a state-run court in part of the majority-Black capital city of Jackson, Miss., even though a federal district court judge dismissed requests to block the new court in a ruling filed late Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman, File)

JACKSON, MISS. (AP) — A federal appeals court has temporarily delayed Mississippi officials from creating a state-run court in part of the majority-Black capital city of Jackson starting on Monday.

The ruling came just before U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate dismissed requests to block the new court in a ruling filed late Sunday.

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals granted a temporary administrative stay, blocking the court’s creation until at least Jan. 5. The decision followed a request from the NAACP.

“The NAACP stands firm in our belief that this legislation is inherently undemocratic,” NAACP spokesperson Alicia Mercedes said in a statement Monday. “We will continue to do everything in our power to fight for Jackson residents’ rights to have control over their own institutions and live free from state-driven discrimination.”

Michelle Williams, chief of staff for Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, responded to the decision by pointing to a statement she issued Sunday that said the state would continue to defend the law and “perform our duties to help protect the people of Jackson from stifling, suffocating crime that plagues the city. ”

The court was created by the majority-white and Republican-controlled Mississippi Legislature. Jackson is governed by Democrats. Attorneys for the civil rights organization had sued on behalf of several Jackson residents, saying the new court undermines democracy because local voters or local elected officials won’t choose its judge or prosecutors.

Under a law signed by Republican Gov. Tate Reeves in the spring, the new court was expected to have jurisdiction in a part of Jackson that includes state government buildings and some residential and shopping areas. Reeves and legislators who support the new court say it is part of an effort to control crime in Jackson — a city that has had more than 100 homicides for each of the past three years, in a population of about 150,000.

Even though the 5th Circuit blocked Mississippi officials from creating the state-run court in Jackson on Monday, attorneys for the state had already said that the court did not yet have a workable place to operate and still needed to hire staff.

The 5th Circuit’s order said the court had not developed an opinion on the merits of any issue.

____

Associated Press reporter Emily Wagster Pettus contributed to this report. Michael Goldberg is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Follow him at @mikergoldberg.

National News

Associated Press

Virginia lawmakers repeal restrictions on popular tuition waiver program for military families

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia lawmakers gave final approval Thursday to legislation that will repeal new restrictions on a tuition waiver program for military families. The House of Delegates and state Senate each voted unanimously to fully restore the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program, which offers free college tuition at state schools for […]

35 minutes ago

North Carolina State University Chancellor Randy Woodson listens during a meeting of the N.C. State...

Associated Press

NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson announces his retirement after nearly 15 years in the role

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Another chancellor in North Carolina’s public university system has announced plans to step down — this time at the state’s largest university by enrollment. North Carolina State University Chancellor Randy Woodson declared his retirement plans at the university’s trustees meeting Thursday, capping off nearly 15 years in his role. His term […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Kansas won’t force providers to ask patients why they want abortions while a lawsuit proceeds

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas isn’t enforcing a new law requiring abortion providers to ask patients why they want to terminate their pregnancies, as a legal challenge against that rule and other older requirements makes its way through the courts. Attorneys for the state and for providers challenging the new law along with other requirements […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Salman Rushdie’s alleged assailant won’t see author’s private notes before trial

MAYVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — Author Salman Rushdie does not have to turn over private notes about his stabbing to the man charged with attacking him, a judge ruled Thursday, rejecting the alleged assailant’s contention that he is entitled to the material as he prepares for trial. Hadi Matar’s lawyers in February subpoenaed Rushdie and publisher […]

2 hours ago

FILE - Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, R-Ark., speaking during the Republican National Convention Tues...

Associated Press

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders announces trade mission to Europe

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday said she’s traveling to Europe for her second trade mission there as governor, which will include a visit to an air show in the United Kingdom. The Republican governor announced she’s traveling to the Farnborough Air Show, which begins July 22, to pitch […]

2 hours ago

FILE - Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump arrives for a campaign rally...

Associated Press

What to know about the Secret Service’s Counter Sniper Team

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. Secret Service sniper killed the would-be assassin of former President Donald Trump in a split-second decision, taking out the man perched on an adjacent rooftop. Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle has publicly praised the sniper’s quick work on Saturday. But the Counter Sniper Team is now subject to a review […]

2 hours ago

Federal appeals court temporarily delays new state-run court in Mississippi’s majority-Black capital