Joey Fillingane calls denial ruling a victory

A chancery judge has declined a Mississippi lawmaker’s request for a judgment on how signatures should be collected to put a voter identification initiative on the statewide ballot.

But Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, said he still considers the ruling this week from Chancellor Denise Owens a victory.

Fillingane has proposed a state constitutional amendment that would require people to show a driver’s license or other ID before casting a ballot. He had asked Owens to clarify whether the signatures should come from Mississippi’s five former U.S. House districts or the four current ones.

Owens denied Fillingane’s request for a declaratory judgment.

“Declaratory judgments seek to assess rights and obligations in cases involving an actual controversy,” Owens wrote in her opinion. “At this time, there is no controversy between the parties. The existence of controversy in this matter is merely speculative at this time.”