JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A federal judge ruled against the City of Jackson in a lawsuit regarding the city’s “buffer zones” around the state’s only abortion clinic.
The lawsuit was filed by Mississippi Justice Institute challenging the constitutionality of the ordinance, which called for a 15-foot buffer zone around health clinics in the state. This came as a result of protesters around the abortion clinic in Jackson.
The City of Jackson attempted to move the case to federal court; this was shot down and the case will be sent back to the state level.
The judge rules that Jackson must pay the attorney fees involved in the move.
Plaintiffs argued the ordinance violates the Mississippi Constitution, and does not mention the U.S. Constitution.
“Quite frankly, we were shocked by the position taken by the city of Jackson in these court filings,” said Aaron Rice, the Director of the Mississippi Justice Institute. “Jackson’s argument completely disregarded the principles of federalism upon which our country was founded, denigrated the competence of state courts to hear state law claims, and was dismissive of the authority of state courts to interpret their own state’s constitution. Fortunately, the federal court understood that, and ensured that state courts will have this important opportunity to interpret the Mississippi Constitution’s free speech protections.”