With the U.S. Senate approving Justice James Graves’ appointment to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday, attention turns to who Governor Barbour will appoint to replace Graves on the Miss. Supreme Court. I posted on this issue in this post last June. I’ve had lines in the water for weeks on this issue and do not really have any fresh information on this topic.
Speculation in Jackson legal circles continues to center on Barbour appointing Graves’ replacement from the Mississippi Court of Appeals. Under this theory Barbour will appoint Court of Appeals Chief Judge Leslie King to the Supreme Court, a sitting trial judge to the Court of Appeals and an attorney to replace the trial judge. Hinds County Chancery Judge Denise Owens is a name that I hear as the favorite to replace King on the Court of Appeals if it this happens. Others speculate that Owens could replace Graves on the Supreme Court.
I’ve gotten mixed signals on the possibility of Jackson attorney La’Verne Edney getting the Supreme Court appointment. I’ve heard that she does not want the position. And I’ve heard that she is campaigning for the job. So I’ve got no idea.
One interesting scenario would be for Barbour to appoint former Hinds County Circuit Judge Malcolm Harrison to one of the available positions. Word on the street is that Barbour was upset with Judge Bill Gowan for running against—and unseating Harrison. Appointing Harrison to another slot would at least put Harrison back into public service.
With Barbour still in the 2012 Presidential race, expect the position to go to an African-American. If Barbour appoints a white person to the Supreme Court, then he’s not running for President.
At this point, I have no prediction on what’s going to happen here. Let me know if you’ve heard any interesting rumors on the Supreme Court seat. If requested, I do not reveal the identity of sources.