In the wake of the Mississippi Supreme Court’s decision last week to overturn a voter-approved medical marijuana law and effectively block voters from placing new measures on the 2022 ballot, The Fairness Project and its partners announced today that they are reluctantly suspending their Medicaid expansion ballot campaign in the state. 

The Fairness Project has expanded Medicaid in six states through ballot initiatives and continues to support a campaign to put Medicaid expansion on the 2022 ballot in South Dakota. In recent years, the organization has started putting Medicaid expansion into state constitutions to give the issue further protection against a growing number of elected officials who have become more willing to disregard the outcome of elections and rights of voters.

“This assault on the democratic process must end,” said Jonathan Schleifer, executive director of The Fairness Project. “The growing number of politicians and judges who are willing to overturn elections and make it harder for voters to participate in democracy should scare every single American.”

The Mississippi Supreme Court’s decision to abandon the constitutional right of voters to put issues on the ballot will have a major impact on the more than 200,000 Mississippians who still need access to healthcare and can’t afford to wait for a solution.

“For many Mississippians battling cancer and other serious illnesses, this decision is a matter of life and death,” Schleifer said. “Mississippians need access to doctors, medical treatments and prescription drugs now. They’ve waited long enough and shouldn’t have to wait any longer.”

The Yes on 76 coalition in Mississippi announced Wednesday that it will encourage state legislators to take advantage of the momentum built from the campaign to pass Medicaid expansion. The campaign also joined the call for a special legislative session to restore the constitutional rights of voters to put issues directly on the ballot.