The lawsuit over Governor Tate Reeves’ vetoes was heard by the Mississippi Supreme Court on Tuesday. At issue is whether the Governor has the authority to partially veto legislative budget bills.
Speaker Philip Gunn and Pro Tem Jason White filed the suit in late summer after the Governor issued a round of vetoes. Hinds County Chancellor Tiffany Grove ruled Reeves’ partial vetoes were unconstitutional and based on the findings, the request for the claim to be dismissed was denied. Reeves then appealed that ruling to the state Supreme Court.
The main difference between the two sides centers around some $2 million that was appropriated by the Legislature to the North Oak Regional Medical Center and $6 million given to the MAGnet Community Health Center. The money came out of appropriations from CARES Act funds.
“This court has never struck down a partial veto after the Legislature reconsidered the vetoed bill in regular session and elected not to override the veto, and this court has never held that individual legislators have standing to sue the governor in this unique circumstance,” Michael Bentley, attorney for Governor Reeves, told the justices.
Andy Taggart, attorney for Gunn/White, argued that the Hinds County ruling should be confirmed.
Attorneys for both Reeves and Gunn/White made their cases before the Court on Tuesday. You can watch the proceedings below.
Chief Justice Mike Randolph said the court would take this under advisement and consider a motion for an expedited ruling.