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Supreme Court sets deadline for eminent domain briefs

JACKSON — The Mississippi Supreme Court has given attorneys until Aug. 12 to file briefs in a challenge to an eminent-domain ballot initiative.

The court has not scheduled oral arguments in the case.

Jackson businessman Leland Speed appealed a decision by a Hinds County judge that the initiative to restrict eminent domain can go on the Nov. 8 ballot in Mississippi. Eminent domain is the process governments use to take land for projects.

Speed is director of the state economic development agency but was acting as a private citizen when he filed a lawsuit seeking to block the ballot measure. He argues the proposal would improperly alter the state constitution’s bill of rights.

The initiative, sponsored by the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, would ban the taking of private land for private developments.

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