2005 Regular Session
To: Apportionment and Elections; Judiciary A
By: Representative Snowden
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 23-15-297, 23-15-975, 23-15-976, 23-15-977 AND 23-15-995, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REMOVE JUSTICES OF THE SUPREME COURT AND JUDGES OF THE COURT OF APPEALS FROM THE NONPARTISAN JUDICIAL ELECTION ACT; TO PLACE THE FILING FEE FOR CANDIDATES FOR THE OFFICE OF JUDGES OF THE SUPREME COURT AND COURT OF APPEALS IN THE LAW GOVERNING PARTY NOMINATIONS; TO PROVIDE THAT THE CANDIDATE FOR JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT OR JUDGE OF THE COURT OF APPEALS IN THE GENERAL ELECTION RECEIVING THE MOST VOTES SHALL BE DECLARED THE WINNER; TO REMOVE THE PROHIBITION AGAINST PARTIES CAMPAIGNING, ENDORSING OR CONTRIBUTING TO JUDICIAL CANDIDATES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 23-15-297, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
23-15-297. All candidates upon entering the race for party nominations for office shall first pay to the proper officer as provided for in Section 23-15-299 for each primary election the following amounts:
(a) Candidates for Governor not to exceed Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00).
(b) Candidates for Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, Auditor of Public Accounts, Commissioner of Insurance, Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, State Highway Commissioner and State Public Service Commissioner, not to exceed Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00).
(c) Candidates for district attorney, not to exceed One Hundred Dollars ($100.00).
(d) Candidates for state senator, state representative, sheriff, chancery clerk, circuit clerk, tax assessor, tax collector, county attorney, county superintendent of education and board of supervisors, not to exceed Fifteen Dollars ($15.00).
(e) Candidates for county surveyor, county coroner, justice court judge and constable, not to exceed Ten Dollars ($10.00).
(f) Candidates for United States senator, not to exceed Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00).
(g) Candidates for United States representative, not to exceed Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00).
(h) Candidates for justice of the Supreme Court and judge of the Court of Appeals, not to exceed Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00).
SECTION 2. Section 23-15-975, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
23-15-975. As used in Sections 23-15-974 through 23-15-985 of this subarticle, the term "judicial office" includes the office of * * * circuit judge, chancellor, county court judge and family court judge. All * * * judges shall be full-time positions and such * * * judges shall not engage in the practice of law before any court, administrative agency or other judicial or quasi-judicial forum except as provided by law for finalizing pending cases after election to judicial office.
SECTION 3. Section 23-15-976, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
23-15-976. A judicial office is a nonpartisan office and a candidate for election thereto is prohibited from campaigning or qualifying for such an office based on party affiliation. * * *
SECTION 4. Section 23-15-977, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
23-15-977. (1) All candidates for judicial office as defined in Section 23-15-975 of this subarticle shall file their intent to be a candidate with the proper officials not later than 5:00 p.m. on the first Friday after the first Monday in May prior to the general election for judicial office and shall pay to the proper officials the following amounts:
* * *
(a) Candidates for circuit judge and chancellor, the sum of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00).
(b) Candidates for county judge and family court judge, the sum of Fifteen Dollars ($15.00).
(2) Candidates for judicial offices listed in paragraph (a) * * * of subsection (1) of this section shall file their intent to be a candidate with, and pay the proper assessment made pursuant to subsection (1) of this section to, the State Board of Election Commissioners.
(3) Candidates for judicial offices listed in paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section shall file their intent to be a candidate with, and pay the proper assessment made pursuant to subsection (1) of this section to, the circuit clerk of the proper county. The circuit clerk shall notify the county commissioners of election of all persons who have filed their intent to be a candidate filed with, and paid the proper assessment to, such clerk. Such notification shall occur within two (2) business days and shall contain all necessary information.
SECTION 5. Section 23-15-995, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
23-15-995. * * * The general laws for the election of state officers shall apply to and govern the election of judges of the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court except that in the general election the candidate receiving the most votes shall be declared the winner.
SECTION 6. The Attorney General of the State of Mississippi shall submit this act, immediately upon approval by the Governor, or upon approval by the Legislature subsequent to a veto, to the Attorney General of the United States or to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in accordance with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.
SECTION 7. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.