Court Rules that Mississippi's Personhood Initiative will be on 2011 Ballot

Oct 26, 2010

Jackson, MS – Today Judge Malcolm Harrison ruled in state circuit court that Personhood Mississippi can be on the state’s ballot in the November 2011 election. This lawsuit was filed by the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the Center for Reproductive Rights, seeking to keep Initiative 26 off the ballot, in spite of the fact that it received more than the required number of signatures.

As a client of Liberty Counsel, Personhood Mississippi is an organization working to prevent abortions by amending the state Constitution to include the unborn in the definition of “person.” The organization gathered more than 100,000 signatures in support of the proposed amendment, which is 10,000 more than necessary. This was despite Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood’s interpretation of the law that resulted in an early cutoff date, which prevented a number of signatures from being counted. 

Judge Harrison stated, “Plaintiffs carry a heavy burden in attempting to restrict the citizenry’s right to amend the Constitution. Initiative Measure No. 26 has received more than the required amount of signatures to be placed on the ballot and the Constitution recognizes the right of citizens to amend their Constitution.”

Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, said, “The right to life is the right of all rights. Without the right to life, all other rights are illusory. The Declaration of Independence acknowledges that the right to life is the foundation of all rights. America needs to return to a culture of life.”

Steve Crampton, Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel for Liberty Counsel, commented: “We commend Judge Harrison for his commonsense ruling and for allowing this modest and imminently reasonable measure to proceed to the ballot, where every Mississippian will have the chance to vote to protect every human life.”

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