Appeals from the Mississippi Supreme Court must go to federal court.
Its nine justices – elected without political party affiliations – hear appeals from Mississippi’s two courts of general jurisdiction: circuit and chancery. It also reviews decisions from the Court of Appeal and may hear direct appeals from county courts.
To consider issues or appeals, the court’s nine justices may do so together – called en banc – or in three-judge panels.
Among what’s reserved to the Supreme Court are death penalty cases, appeals involving utility rates, annexations, bond issues, election contests and statutes held unconstitutional by a lower court.
The justice also hear cases involving attorney discipline and judicial performance, certified questions from a federal court, cases involving major questions of first impression, fundamental and urgent issues of broad public importance requiring prompt determination, substantial constitutional questions concerning the validity of a statute, ordinance, court rule or administrative rule or regulation, and issues where there is an inconsistency or conflict in court decisions.
The Northern District of the Supreme Court contains 33 counties, or roughly the northern third of Mississippi.
Place 3’s Justice George C. Carlson Jr. of Batesville decided to retire at the end of his term this year, so that opened up a race for his successor.
The election is Tuesday, Nov. 6.
The Northern District’s other two justices are Place 1, Ann H. Lamar of Senatobia, and Place 2, David Chandler of Ackerman, whose terms expire in January 2017.
The Supreme Court’s headquarters is in downtown Jackson just north of the state Capitol.