JANS – Late last week, the JXN Undivided Coalition, Mississippi Votes, People’s Advocacy Institute, Mississippi Poor People’s Campaign, Black Voters Matter, and three local community organizers filed a lawsuit challenging S.B. 2343. The newly passed legislation will make peaceful protests on public sidewalks and streets next to state government buildings in Jackson illegal without prior written permission from one of two state officials, the Commissioner of Public Safety or the Chief of the Capitol Police.
The plaintiffs, represented by the Mississippi Center for Justice and the MacArthur Justice Center at the University of Mississippi School of Law, seek declaratory relief and a preliminary and permanent injunction to prevent the new law from going into effect.
Recent protests in Jackson have focused on various measures by the state to remove or dilute certain powers from the majority-Black local governments and elected officials of Jackson and Hinds County. These measures have included the dramatic expansion of the authority and jurisdiction of the Department of Public Safety and the Capitol Police.