Mississippi: House approves plan to let Chief Justice pick trial judge to hear challenges to state laws

The Mississippi House earlier this week approved a plan discussed here to have constitutional challenges to state laws heard by a Circuit Court judge handpicked by the state’s Chief Justice.

HB 805 as passed 78-44 provides when there is a lawsuit “challenging the lawfulness or constitutionality of any state law, order, rule or regulation” the case would not be assigned to the Circuit Judge(s) in that county or in the capital (Hinds County) if the suit was filed there.

Instead, the case would be filed with the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice shall “designate and notify a [Circuit Court] judge to hear and determine the matters at issue.”

News reports for the 2015 version of this bill indicated this is an effort to bypass judges in Hinds County, where the capital is located.

The bill now goes to the Senate.