Mississippi residents are subject to Mississippi state and U.S. federal laws. Federal laws apply in Mississippi as they do across all 50 states. In addition to the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the U.S., federal laws include statutes that are periodically codified in the U.S. Code. Federal laws also include decisions by courts that interpret federal laws. Finally, federal laws include regulations issued by federal administrative agencies to implement federal laws. You can explore federal laws and related resources by visiting the federal law section of the Justia site.
The state of Mississippi also has its own state laws. Mississippi state laws include the Mississippi Constitution, laws passed by the Mississippi legislature and periodically codified in the Mississippi Code, and decisions by courts that interpret Mississippi laws.
Comprised of 15 articles, the Mississippi Constitution was adopted in 1890. The numbering of the sections is continuous throughout the articles rather than restarting with each article, as is more common. Another distinctive feature of the Constitution is the amendment process, which does not permit constitutional conventions. Section 273 in Article XV provides for legislatively referred amendments. An amendment will appear on a ballot if two-thirds of each chamber of the Mississippi State Legislature vote in its favor. The Constitution also permits amendments by ballot initiatives in certain circumstances, but the rules governing initiated amendments are so restrictive that it is extremely difficult for them to succeed.
The Mississippi Code contains the laws passed by the Mississippi legislature. These laws and the provisions of the Mississippi Constitution are often interpreted by the Mississippi Supreme Court and the Mississippi Court of Appeals. Two federal district courts in Mississippi also issue decisions that may affect Mississippi residents. These are the Northern and Southern District Courts of Mississippi. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals holds the authority to review decisions by federal district courts in Mississippi. Sometimes the U.S. Supreme Court may review a case that has been appealed from the Fifth Circuit or from the Mississippi Supreme Court.