Hughes v. HosemannAnnotate this Case
In November 2008, P. Leslie Riley and an organization known as "Personhood Mississippi" filed an initiative, now known as Measure 26, with the Office of the Secretary of State. The initiative was qualified by the Secretary of the State to be placed on the general election ballot. Thereafter, Deborah Hughes and Cristen Hemmins ("Plaintiffs") filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief in Hinds County Circuit Court against Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, challenging Measure 26 as a violation of Article 15, Section 273(5)(a) of the Mississippi Constitution. On August 10, 2010, Plaintiffs filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings. The Secretary of State replied with a response to that motion. Then, on September 30, 2010, the trial court entered and approved an Agreed Order, allowing Riley and Personhood Mississippi to intervene. In that same order, all parties agreed that this case was "based on questions of law" and "should be resolved by way of judgment on the pleadings." Subsequently, after considering the motion and responses, having heard oral argument, and being otherwise fully advised in these matters, the trial court denied Plaintiffs' motion for judgment on the pleadings, finding that they had not carried their heavy burden in attempting to restrict the citizenry's right to amend the Constitution. Thereafter, the trial court entered an additional order, titled "Final Judgment." The trial court ruled that the denial of Plaintiffs' motion for judgment on the pleadings disposed of the case. Additionally, the trial court ruled that "final judgment is hereby entered in favor of the" Secretary of State and the Intervenors. Upon review, the Supreme Court concluded Measure 26 was not ripe for review. Thus, the Court vacated the trial court's final judgment in favor of Intervenors and Secretary Hosemann. The Supreme Court finally dismissed Plaintiffs' complaint without prejudice.