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Case Name Young v. Hosemann VR-MS-0147
Docket / Court 3:08-cv-00567-TSL-JCS ( S.D. Miss. )
State/Territory Mississippi
Case Type(s) Election/Voting Rights
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On September 12, 2008, two convicted felons filed a civil rights action under federal and state laws in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Jackson Division. Plaintiffs named the Secretary of the State of Mississippi, and various county election officials as Defendants. ... read more >
On September 12, 2008, two convicted felons filed a civil rights action under federal and state laws in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Jackson Division. Plaintiffs named the Secretary of the State of Mississippi, and various county election officials as Defendants. Plaintiffs allege that §241 of the Mississippi Constitution explicitly allows for individuals who have been convicted of a crime to vote for the U.S. President and Vice President. Plaintiffs assert that they meet all the requirements for an elector in the State of Mississippi and, despite their felony convictions, retain the right to vote for President and Vice President. Plaintiffs claim that Defendants' disfranchisement of Plaintiffs violates § 241 of the Mississippi Constitution, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and the National Voter Registration Act. Represented by attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union, Plaintiffs asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief. Plaintiffs simultaneously filed a motion for a preliminary injunction.

On September 25, 2008, the District Court (Judge Tom S. Lee) denied the motion for a preliminary injunction from the bench, stating that their interpretation of § 241 was not "fair or reasonable." The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit subsequently denied Plaintiffs' motion for emergency injunctive relief pending appeal.

On October 02, 2008, the state officials filed a motion to dismiss the complaint for lack of federal jurisdiction and failure to state a claim based on Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1), (6). On March 9, 2009, the District Court (Judge Tom S. Lee) granted Defendants' motion as to 12(b)(6), concluding that, as a matter of law, Plaintiffs' complaint was "without merit and should be dismissed with prejudice" because their interpretation of § 241 was "legally incorrect." The Court also concluded that "defendants have correctly construed this provision."

Plaintiffs appealed to the Fifth Circuit. On February 25, 2010, in a published opinion by Chief Judge Edith H. Jones, the Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court's decision. Young v. Hoseman, 598 F.3d 184 (5th Cir. 2010)

Xin Chen - 08/28/2011


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Voting
Voter qualifications
Causes of Action Voting Rights Act, unspecified, 42 U.S.C § 1973 et seq.
State law
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Election Commissioners in Panola County
Election Commissioners of Lee County
The Secretary of the State of Mississippi
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are two convicted felons who contend that § 241 of the Mississippi Constitution grants felons the right to vote in presidential elections.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2009
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
3:08-cv-00567-TSL-JCS (S.D. Miss.) 03/29/2010
VR-MS-0147-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief 09/12/2008
VR-MS-0147-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Memorandum of Law in Support of Their Motion for a Preliminary Injuction 09/12/2008
VR-MS-0147-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum of Authorities in Support of Defendant's Motion to Dismiss 10/02/2008
VR-MS-0147-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 03/09/2009 (2009 WL 614912) (S.D. Miss.)
VR-MS-0147-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Fifth Circuit Opinion 02/25/2010 (598 F.3d 184)
VR-MS-0147-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Jones, Edith Hollan (Fifth Circuit)
VR-MS-0147-0005
Lee, Tom Stewart (S.D. Miss.)
VR-MS-0147-0004 | VR-MS-0147-9000
Sumner, James C. Jr. (S.D. Miss.) [Magistrate]
VR-MS-0147-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Abudu, Nancy G. (Georgia)
VR-MS-0147-0001 | VR-MS-0147-0002 | VR-MS-0147-9000
Bennett, Kristy L. (Mississippi)
VR-MS-0147-0001 | VR-MS-0147-0002 | VR-MS-0147-9000
Bradley, Neil T. (Georgia)
VR-MS-0147-0001 | VR-MS-0147-0002 | VR-MS-0147-9000
McDonald, Moffatt Laughlin (Georgia)
VR-MS-0147-0001 | VR-MS-0147-0002 | VR-MS-0147-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Murphree, William C. (Mississippi)
VR-MS-0147-9000
Shurden, Shawn Stephen (Mississippi)
VR-MS-0147-0003 | VR-MS-0147-9000
Westfaul, Jay (Mississippi)
VR-MS-0147-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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