Chief Justice William Waller, Jr. set the tone before arguments even began.
"I don't want any political sound bites. No jury arguments. No grand standing. No snipping," Waller told the court.
From there a team of defense attorneys started their arguments Thursday morning before the state supreme court asking the justices to throw out the case brought on by Attorney General Jim Hood who contends former governor Haley Barbour did not follow the constitution when handing out nearly 200 pardons.
Defense attorney Tom Fortner say Barbour's power is a case of separation of powers and a court shouldn't be involved.
"I believe the governor had the power under our constitution to reach his hand into prisons and pull out a handful of people and pardon them," said Fortner.
Hood pointed to the state constitution requiring a 30 day notice be published for anyone receiving a pardon and says that requirement was simply not followed, but Fortner told the court his clients did not have to follow it because they didn't apply for a pardon. Instead, it came through an executive order from Barbour.
"It is at best a notice provision. It is not mandatory and it is subject only to the approval of the executive," said Fortner.
Other defense attorneys argued the constitution is open to interpretation as to just what the 30 day requirement means. Hood says the interpretation is clear.
"If this court makes a wrong interpretation according to the legislature of a statue then they can fix it, but you can't do that with the constitution. The constitution has to be read strictly and in terms of when it was written," said Hood.
Hood says although he understands the separation of powers when it comes to the constitution, the court should act.
"What a court does have jurisdiction to address is whether or not that pardon was valid," said Hood.
It's not yet clear exactly when a ruling will happen but is expected in the next few days.
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:47 PM EDT2013-06-19 01:47:49 GMT
Jackson Police Chief Rebecca Coleman has turned in her resignation to Mayor Harvey Johnson and will retire from the police force in a matter of days. Chief Coleman, who has served with the Jackson PoliceMore >>
Jackson Police Chief Rebecca Coleman has turned in her resignation to Mayor Harvey Johnson and will retire from the police force in a matter of days.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 7:31 PM EDT2013-06-18 23:31:40 GMT
Ridgeland police officers and Madison County sheriff's deputies have surrounded a house on Bryceland Drive in Ridgeland. Lt. John Neil with the Ridgeland Police Department says a resident called policeMore >>
Ridgeland Chief of Police Jimmy Houston said the standoff in Ridgeland is resolved.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 5:00 PM EDT2013-06-18 21:00:46 GMT
There is no such thing as sacred ground for some thieves. Two men rob at least four people at a Jackson church. Officer Colendula Green tells us around 6:22 Monday evening the group was standing outsideMore >>
There is no such thing as sacred ground for some thieves. Two men robbed at least four people at a Jackson church Monday night.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 9:37 PM EDT2013-06-18 01:37:58 GMT
An accident that occurred around 3 p.m. Saturday on I-20 W. resulted in at least one fatality. The accident happened between Bovina and Flowers. A bystander told WLBT/WDBD the multi-vehicle accidentMore >>
A second person has died from a multiple-vehicle crash on Interstate 20 in Warren County Saturday.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 1:11 AM EDT2013-06-18 05:11:50 GMT
A two-vehicle accident at the Highway 18 and Springridge Road intersection Saturday, resulted in at least one death. A one-and-a-half year-old died in the accident, according to Hinds County Coroner SharonMore >>
A two-vehicle accident at the Highway 18 and Springridge Road intersection Saturday evening resulted in the death of a toddler. Officials have made an arrest in the death.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 3:26 PM EDT2013-06-17 19:26:53 GMT
Jackson police are investigating what they believe to be a murder-suicide in south Jackson Monday morning. Few details are being released at this time, but Officer Colendula Green confirms one maleMore >>
Jackson police are investigating what they believe to be a murder-suicide in south Jackson and have identified both victims. More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:23 AM EDT2013-06-18 13:23:30 GMT
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her. Jayden Sink raised nearly $200 on Friday while she sold lemonadeMore >>
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 9:59 PM EDT2013-06-18 01:59:19 GMT
LYNCHBURG, VA (RNN) – Kimberly Burke is used to capturing emotion. As a wedding photographer, she has an eye for tender moments, like the photo she snapped of a Marine and his bride praying that has goneMore >>
A quiet moment captured before a couple wed has brought collective "awws" by millions on the internet.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 8:49 AM EDT2013-06-18 12:49:53 GMT
Simpson County Sheriff's deputies are looking for two inmates who walked off a work detail crew early Monday morning. According to Simpson County Sheriff Kenneth Lewis, Simpson County Adult Detention CenterMore >>
Two Simpson County inmates who walked off a work detail site Monday morning have been recaptured.More >>
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