Mississippi Constitution – Article 6. Judiciary – The Supreme Court

The next few posts will set out what the Mississippi Constitution says about the Judiciary.

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI
ARTICLE 6. JUDICIARY

§ 144. Judicial power of state

The judicial power of the State shall be vested in a Supreme Court and such other courts as are provided for in this Constitution.

§ 145. Composition of Supreme Court

The Supreme Court shall consist of three judges, any two of whom, when convened, shall form a quorum. The Legislature shall divide the state into three Supreme Court districts, and there shall be elected one judge for and from each district by the qualified electors thereof at a time and in the manner provided by law; but the removal of a judge to the state capitol during his term of office shall not render him ineligible as his own successor for the districts from which he has removed. The present incumbents shall be considered as holding their terms of office from the state at large. The adoption of this amendment shall not abridge the terms of any of the present incumbents, but they shall continue to hold their respective offices until the expiration of the terms for which they were respectively appointed.

§ 145A. Addition of judges to Supreme Court

The Supreme Court shall consist of six judges, that is to say, of three judges in addition to the three provided for by Section 145 of this Constitution, any four of whom when convened shall form a quorum. The additional judges herein provided for shall be selected one for and from each of the Supreme Court districts in the manner provided by Section 145 of this Constitution, or any amendments thereto. Their terms of office shall be as provided by Section 149 of this Constitution, or any amendment thereto.

§ 145B. Further addition of judges to Supreme Court

The Supreme Court shall consist of nine judges, that is to say, of three judges in addition to the six provided for by Section 145A of this Constitution, any five of whom when convened shall constitute a quorum. The additional judges herein provided for shall be selected one for and from each of the Supreme Court districts in the manner provided by Section 145A of this Constitution or any amendment thereto. Their terms of office shall be as provided by Section 149 of this Constitution or any amendment thereto.

§ 146. Jurisdiction of Supreme Court

The Supreme Court shall have such jurisdiction as properly belongs to a court of appeals and shall exercise no jurisdiction on matters other than those specifically provided by this Constitution or by general law. The Legislature may by general law provide for the Supreme Court to have original and appellate jurisdiction as to any appeal directly from an administrative agency charged by law with the responsibility for approval or disapproval of rates sought to be charged the public by any public utility. The Supreme Court shall consider cases and proceedings for modification of public utility rates in an expeditious manner regardless of their position on the court docket.

§ 147. Reversal of judgment for want of jurisdiction; remand

No judgment or decree in any chancery or circuit court rendered in a civil cause shall be reversed or annulled on the ground of want of jurisdiction to render said judgment or decree, from any error or mistake as to whether the cause in which it was rendered was of equity or common-law jurisdiction; but if the Supreme Court shall find error in the proceedings other than as to jurisdiction, and it shall be necessary to remand the case, the Supreme Court may remand it to that court which, in its opinion, can best determine the controversy.

§ 149. Term of office of Supreme Court judges

The term of office of the judges of the Supreme Court shall be eight (8) years. The Legislature shall provide as near as can be conveniently done that the offices of not more than a majority of the judges of said court shall become vacant at any one time; and if necessary for the accomplishment of that purpose, it shall have power to provide that the terms of office of some of the judges first to be elected shall expire in less than eight years. The adoption of this amendment shall not abridge the terms of any of the present incumbents of the office of judge of the Supreme Court; but they shall continue to hold their respective offices until the expiration of the terms for which they were respectively appointed.

§ 149A. Divisions of Supreme Court

The Supreme Court shall have power, under such rules and regulations as it may adopt, to sit in two divisions of three judges each, any two of whom when convened shall form a quorum; each division shall have full power to hear and adjudge all cases that may be assigned to it by the court. In event the judges composing any division shall differ as to the judgment to be rendered in any cause, or in event any judge of either division, within a time and in a manner to be fixed by the rules to be adopted by the court, shall certify that in his opinion any decision of any division of the court is in conflict with any prior decision of the court or of any division thereof, the cause shall then be considered and adjudged by the full court or a quorum thereof.

§ 150. Eligibility requirements for Supreme Court judges

No person shall be eligible to the office of judge of the Supreme Court who shall not have attained the age of thirty years at the time of his appointment, and who shall not have been a practicing attorney and a citizen of the State for five years immediately preceding such appointment.

Also, here are some statutes that apply to the Supreme Court:

§ 9-3-9. Jurisdiction of the court

The Supreme Court shall have such jurisdiction as properly belongs to a court of appeals, and shall hear and determine all manner of pleas, complaints, motions, causes, and controversies, civil and criminal, which are now pending therein, or which may be brought before it, and which shall be cognizable in said court; but a cause shall not be removed into said court until after final judgment in the court below, except as provided by Section 9-4-3, or in cases particularly provided for by law; and the Supreme Court may grant new trials and correct errors of the circuit court in granting or refusing the same.

Provided, however, the Supreme Court shall have such original and appellate jurisdiction as may be otherwise provided by law in cases and proceedings for modification of any rates charged or sought to be charged to the public by any public utility.

§ 9-3-39. Court may make and enforce rules

The Supreme Court shall have power to make such rules in respect to making out records for said court and for the Court of Appeals as may be expedient, and may prescribe the form and manner in which records shall be prepared for appeal, and cause the same to be bound, but shall not require any record to be printed; and may enforce its rules by proper fines or by refusal to allow costs to be taxed to the clerks below on records not made out according to the rules, or by refusing to permit such records to be filed. And the court may prescribe the mode of pleading in causes therein, civil and criminal, and the manner of trying the same; and may also establish such rules of practice and proceedings therein as may be deemed necessary and proper for certainty and dispatch of business, and may dismiss causes for noncompliance with any of the rules; but such rules must be consistent with law.

§ 9-3-61. General rule-making power vested in Supreme Court

As a part of the judicial power granted in Article 6, Section 144, of the Mississippi Constitution of 1890, the Supreme Court has the power to prescribe from time to time by general rules the forms of process, writs, pleadings, motions, rules of evidence and the practice and procedure for trials and appeals in the Court of Appeals and in the circuit, chancery and county courts of this state and for appeals to the Supreme Court from interlocutory or final orders of trial courts and administrative boards and agencies, and certiorari from the Court of Appeals.

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