Supreme Court upholds dismissal of McDaniel's challenge - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Supreme Court upholds dismissal of McDaniel's challenge

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) -

The Mississippi State Supreme Court is upholding a lower court's decision to dismiss Chris McDaniel's lawsuit challenging the June 24 Senate runoff election.

In an order released Friday afternoon, the court writes, "We find that McDaniel failed to file his election contest timely, and the trial judge did not err by dismissing the case."

Special Judge Hollis McGehee's original decision relied on Kellum v. Johnson to find that McDaniel did not meet the 20 day deadline to file his election contest. Instead, McDaniel waited 41 days to file his election contest with the State Republican Executive Committee.

In his appeal to the State Supreme Court, McDaniel argued that no deadline exists to contest a primary election. But the justices disagreed.

"Under the doctrine of stare decisis, we find that Kellum applies, McDaniel failed to file his election contest within twenty days, and the dismissal is affirmed," Friday's order read.

The decision was a 4-2 vote with presiding Justice Jess H. Dickinson, Justice David A. Chandler and Justice Randy G. Pierce choosing not to participate in the case.

McDaniel's attorney, Mitch Tyner, said in a statement to the media, "While we disagree with the majority, since there was no deadline in the statute to file a challenge, we are glad the Supreme Court finally ruled so Mississippi conservatives can move forward into 2015."

The Cochran campaign's attorneys, Butler Snow Law Firm, released a statement of their own in response to the court's decision.

It read, "Today's ruling by Mississippi's highest court brings an end to the challenge of the primary runoff election and reconfirms the voters' choice of Thad Cochran as the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate. As we have said from the beginning, regardless of the timeliness of the challenge, the facts continue to show this has always been a baseless challenge, and the will of the voters has now been validated by the Mississippi Supreme Court."

You can view the entire order online: http://courts.ms.gov/Images/Orders/CO98646.pdf

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