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Battle over Jackson airport takeover goes to federal court

A former commissioner of the Jackson airport is suing the state over a law that would give suburbs and the state some control over the airport.

Jeffrey Stallworth of Jackson filed suit in federal court April 6 against Gov. Phil Bryant, the Mississippi Legislature and the Department of Transportation.

Stallworth says in the lawsuit that he owns 100 acres of land near the airport. He says the law violates his Fifth Amendment as a taxpayer and landowner by forcefully taking city property without compensating its residents. He says it will cause emotional distress and a loss of his city’s tax base.

The law has been a source of racially charged debate with opponents saying white suburbs are trying to seize control of an asset controlled by the majority-black capital city.

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