Dear Readers: I wanted to start today by directing you to a great post by my blogging icon, the Anchoress — The Efficacy of “No” . It blends art critique, social commentary, and profound insight most entertainingly. Plus, she had a big NO yesterday, as her initial version vaporized after it was complete. Please check it out!
In terms of political events, Newt Gingrich seems to be getting one big “NO” for his comments regarding Paul Ryan’s innovative entitlement program reform plans. In fact, it was so big, it reminded me of this sequence from the musical “Chicago”:
W.C. Varones notes that Eurotrash socialists have been hearing a whole lot of “NO” recently — including one that impacts California.
B-Daddy notes a big “YES” that could help small businesses, one of the key concerns of the SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition — SAN DIEGO TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: Lorie Zapf and Tony Young have released a Small Business Assistance Package designed to help small businesses cut through the red tape of city government and get the local economy growing. The effort is in part the result of an outreach effort by Zapf to small businesses.On the other hand, there are significant regional “NOs”:
2) Most of the Californians I talk to (including fellow Democrats), are saying NO to the SEIU Tax-Increase Ads blanketing the Golden State.
Dawn Wildman, co-founder of the SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition — SAN DIEGO TEA PARTY PATRIOTS, has this “YAHOO” from the Mississippi Tea Party:
Please read the letter below, from Attorney Russ Latino, to get a glimpse in how The Mississippi Tea Party stood up for the Mississippi Constitution, along with MS Secretary of State Delbert Hoseman, over the US Constitution in the redistricting battle in our State. We believe that this is HUGE win for the MS Constitution and reaffirms our 10th Amendment rights.
Julia R. Hodges
Executive Director for the Mississippi Tea Party
An important victory was had today for the Mississippi Constitution and basic tenets of federalism and separation of power. Judges Redistrict opinion.pdf
Over the past several months, redistricting efforts have been at the forefront of Mississippi politics. First, the Legislature attempted, but failed to pass a joint resolution to reapportion the state. Then, the NAACP filed a lawsuit alleging that the state was unconstitutionally mal-apportioned due to population shifts and asking the Court to enjoin the upcoming 2011 elections. The litigation included multiple parties taking multiple positions. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann argued that the Court lacked jurisdiction. His argument was based on the fact that the Mississippi Constitution gives the legislature until 2012 (the second year after the decennial census) to complete redistricting. The remainder of the parties all conceded jurisdiction, but argued for different “interim remedies,” with the Republican Party and the Governor asking the Court to draw new lines on its own and the other parties asking the Court to impose the 2011 plans that had been proposed in the House & Senate, but which did not garner the support of both chambers.
After considering the arguments and briefs of the parties, the Court issued an “inclination” order stating that it intended to impose the 2011 plans, as recommended by the NAACP, State Democrat Party, etc. Today, however, the Court has issued an Order which reverses course, holding that it lacks the authority to implement an interim remedy and that elections must be held under existing lines.
What happened between the time of the inclination Order and today’s ruling? The Mississippi Tea Party filed an amicus brief in which it argued in favor of the position advocated by Secretary Hosemann. The brief went one step further though, in attempting to demonstrate not only the meaning of the Mississippi Constitution, but the fact that the Mississippi Constitution, both on its face and in its application, did not violate the U.S. Constitution. This briefing was the only written submission denying the Court’s authority to impose a remedy between the time of the inclination order and today’s Order. The Tea Party relied heavily on the Supreme Court case of Reynolds v. Sims to demonstrate that waiting until next year, as provided for by the Mississippi Constitution, did not violate the idea of “one man, one vote.”
Specifically, we argued that the question of whether the Court had the authority to impose a remedy hinged “entirely on the enforceability of Sec. 254 of the Mississippi Constitution” and that “the enforceability of Sec. 254 hinges on a single question—namely, whether the period provided by Sec. 254 to complete legislative redistricting (in 2012) in some manner violates the U.S. Constitution or conflicts with associated federal law?” Using Reynolds, we then argued that if Sec. 254 does not violate the U.S. Constitution, then the lawsuit was “entirely premature.”
The Court’s Order adopted the question posed by the Tea Party in analyzing the issues before it: “The central question we must therefore decide is whether, in its application to the facts before us, Article 13, Sec. 254 of the Mississippi Constitution impairs the Equal Protection Clause’s principle of “one person, one vote.” The Court explained “we initially expressed our inclination to impose an interim remedy…Upon further consideration, we have concluded that, in the light of the fact that no party has argued, or even asserted, that Section 254 is unconstitutional on its face, or as applied, imposing an interim remedy would be premature and even inconsistent with the Supreme Court’s holding in Reynolds.”
As I said in opening, this complete change in position can be seen as nothing short of a victory for the Mississippi Constitution and the people of Mississippi. I’ve attached a copy of our brief and the Court’s Order should anyone want to read/compare. I am thankful for the opportunity I had to draft the argument on behalf of the Tea Party and for the help of my co-counsel, Richard Wilbourn.