The U.S. Supreme Court Mississippi flag order that wasn’t

The misinterpreted August 29, 2017 action of the U.S. Supreme Court is described on the court docket as “Response Requested. (Due September 28, 2017).” The underlying document turns out not to be an order but rather a letter from the Clerk of the Court requesting the attorney for the Governor file a response to the plaintiff’s petition that the high court take up the matter. There is no mention of “defending the Confederate battle emblem.” The sole issue before the U.S. Supreme Court concerns the constitutional authority of the federal courts to even entertain the lawsuit.

Procedurally, four of the nine Supreme Court Justices must vote in favor of even considering the jurisdictional issue petition. Assuming that statistically improbable event happens, the Court would then consider whether the two lower federal courts botched the jurisdictional issue. If a majority of the Supreme Court Justices votes to overturn the lower court ruling, the trial court could finally take up the case on the merits.

News reports to the contrary, the U.S. Supreme Court has not asked the State or Governor to defend the battle emblem.

Ben Williams
MS Business Journal