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Gualberto Garcia Jones, Esq.

Opinion

Pro-life, liberty and family attorney seeks election to Mississippi Supreme Court

Gualberto Garcia Jones, Esq.

August 25, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — In 2010, the Mississippi Supreme Court was asked to decide whether a pro-life amendment to the state constitution would be allowed to appear on the November ballot. 

The ACLU, Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights argued that Amendment 26 violated the “right” to abortion enshrined by the Roe v. Wade decision and should not be allowed on the ballot even though more than 100,000 people signed petitions and a majority of the legislature ratified the proposed amendment.

Arguing pro bono in defense of Amendment 26 was Steve Crampton, a local Mississippi attorney who has served as general counsel to the American Family Association and Liberty Counsel and also as special counsel to the Thomas More Society.  

Crampton skillfully argued the case for the pro-life activists, ultimately achieving an impressive 7-2 victory.  

Now, six years after that election, Crampton has announced his intention to run for a seat on the Mississippi Supreme Court, taking the place of retiring Justice Ann Lamar. Also running are two circuit court judges, Robert “Bobby” Chamberlin and James T. Kitchens, as well as John Brady, a local business lawyer.

Crampton is best known for his work in defense of marriage and religious liberty, having litigated numerous cases that ended up at the Supreme Court.  

In many ways, Crampton has been the legal Paul Revere of the religious liberty movement.

In 2012, four years before President Obama’s transgender bathroom executive order, Crampton warned that the adoption of gender identity policies would lead to the “insanity” of men using women’s bathrooms.

In 2013, before the Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Windsor, Crampton warned that “it is high time that the American people rise up against the tyranny of the judiciary and if the judges try to foist this (a redefinition of marriage) upon us, we need to resist, that’s our right as Americans.”

Crampton told LifeSiteNews that his decision to run for the Supreme Court of Mississippi is motivated by a desire to restore the court to its proper role of impartial arbiter stopping the courts from becoming the proponents of new social policies.  

“I have devoted most of my career to the study and protection of our Constitutional rights,” Crampton said. “I have argued in our MS Supreme Court as well as state and federal courts all across the country. I have stood for life, liberty, and family, often against the government. These are the same values that I will bring to the court if elected.”

In Mississippi, as in neighboring Alabama and a handful of other states, the people elect their Supreme Court judges for eight-year terms, after which they must run for re-election or retire.

In a November election that is now poised to include two presidential candidates at the top of the national ticket with no significant appeal to social conservatives, the effect on down-ticket races like this one in Mississippi remains a matter of great interest and concern.

Yet, Mississippi is likely to buck national trends. Not only is the state deeply Republican, it also has hotly contested social issues on the local public agenda.  

Earlier this spring, Mississippi passed a religious liberty law, considered by friends and foes as one of the strongest in the nation. Although the law was not set to go into effect until July 1, the ACLU preemptively filed a federal suit to strike the law as unconstitutional under the 2015 Obergefell decision. On August 2, Obama appointee Judge Carlton Reeves (previously on the board of the ACLU) issued an order stopping the enforcement of the law.

Crampton is counting on his experience in these matters of religious liberty and the defense of marriage as setting him apart from the field.

In a recent video interview with the American Family Association’s radio show, Crampton pointed out that religious liberty issues are now an everyday occurrence that he believes requires judges with a different set of qualifications and with the experience necessary to settle such matters decisively at the highest court in the state.

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