Due to a clerical error, Mississippi is only now officially ratifying the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery. No really.
According to The Jackson Clarion-Ledger (h/t Politico), Dr. Ranjan Batra, a native of India who became a citizen in 2008, did a little online digging after seeing the movie Lincoln and discovered that Mississippi had never really ratified the 13th Amendment. A friend of his from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Ken Sullivan, remembered that it had been brought to state lawmakers in 1995. 1995?!
Dr. Batra contacted the National Archives’ Office of the Federal Register and discovered that the ratification wasn’t put on the books. Together, the two men made sure that the Amendment was brought to state legislators and the proper paperwork filed.
The article goes on to say that there’s no explanation for why the paperwork wasn’t sent in the first place.
It’s disturbing that the state obviously never placed any importance on making sure that this critical piece of legislation made it onto the books the way it should have. We’re talking about slavery! And someone has to point out to legislators that it hasn’t been officially banned 150 years after the fact?
“We’re very deliberate in our state. We finally got it right,” Sen. Hillman Frazier (D-Jackson) told the Clarion-Ledger. Dr. Batra and Mr. Sullivan appeared on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell last night. You can watch their interview after the jump.