Speed v. HosemannAnnotate this Case
David Waide filed an Initiative with Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, and Hosemann approved it for placement on the November, 2011 general election ballot. Plaintiff Leland Speed filed a complaint against Hosemann in the Hinds County Circuit Court, along with a Motion for Expedited Declaratory and Injunctive Relief, asking the Supreme Court to declare Initiative 31 unconstitutional and to enjoin Hosemann from placing it on the ballot. Speed argued that Initiative 31 "violates Section 273(5)(a) because that section prohibits use of the initiative process for the proposal, modification or repeal' of any portion' of the Constitution's Bill of Rights." Speed argued that Initiative 31 was a "proposal, modification or repeal' of the Bill of Rights . . . and more specifically of its Section 17, which governs taking of private property for a public use." After Hosemann and Waide responded to Speed's pleadings, Speed filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, in which he argued that the case "involve[d] a pure issue of law with no material facts in dispute" and asked the court to enter judgment in his favor under Mississippi Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c). The trial judge both denied Speed's motion for judgment on the pleadings and ruled on the merits, finding that Speed's complaint should be dismissed with prejudice and ordering that Hosemann be allowed to proceed in placing Initiative 31 on the ballot. On appeal, Speed asked the Supreme Court to reverse the trial judge, declare that Initiative 31 violates Section 273(5) of the Mississippi Constitution, and "keep Initiative 31 off the November ballot." Upon review, the Supreme Court found that the issue presented in this appeal (the constitutionality of proposed Initiative 31) was not ripe for adjudication by the Court, such that any opinion thereon would be improperly advisory. Accordingly, the Court vacated the trial court's decision and dismissed the case.