As to the question of venue, it appears to the court that these considerations, as well as Steen , make an already strong case for § 1404(a) transfer overwhelming, since they seem to confirm that any NVRA relief which plaintiffs might be able to obtain in this case would be in Jackson. It has not escaped this court’s attention that the issues in this case are highly charged, politically speaking, and it appears that the decision to file suit in Oxford may have been based upon political calculations, the exact nature of which are unclear to this court. Regardless, the § 1404(a) inquiry is based upon non-political factors which simply seek to ascertain which court is best positioned to decide a particular case. The court is accordingly strongly inclined to transfer this case to the Southern District of Mississippi, but it will give the parties an opportunity to persuade it otherwise prior to doing so.
It is therefore ordered that the parties are directed to show cause as to why this case should not be transferred to the Southern District of Mississippi. Response shall be filed by July 18, 2014.
7 pages double spaced. Pretty quick read. IMO the Judge thinks this is a headline making waste of time and he wants to send it south so some other Judge can point at it and laugh.
Indeed, it appears that the issues in this case may already be well on their way to becoming moot, partly due to plaintiffs’ own failure to act more expeditiously. Plaintiffs did not seek a TRO or other emergency relief, and this court has had no contact from plaintiffs’ counsel requesting any sort of emergency hearing (as is typically the case when parties seek expedited relief). The court’s understanding is that that many of the poll books in question either have been or are in the process of being sent to the State of Mississippi, which would seem to make any relief as to the counties moot, in addition to being barred by Steen.
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