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Candidates For The Mississippi Supreme Court Make Their Case At the Neshoba County Fair

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 02 Aug 2012 05:44pm | comments
Earle Banks

A Mississippi representative is trying to unseat the chief justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports both spoke at the Neshoba County fair yesterday.

That's state representative Earle Banks telling voters at the Neshoba County fair why he should replace current Chief Justice Bill Waller on the Mississippi Supreme Court.

Mississippi Supreme Court justices are elected to 8 year terms and this fall four judicial seats will be on the ballot.

Banks says his legislative experience qualifies him for the seat.

He also accused the court of being too out of touch with average Mississippians.

"I think it is time to bring the court back to the center. Back to where we need to be to protect the lives and people of Mississippi. Whether it is worker's comp or unemployment benefits. That is what we need to be doing," Banks said.

Banks cited this year's decision upholding pardons issued at the end of former Governor Haley Barbour's term as an example of the court being 'out of touch'.

"The legislature passed the rules and regulations and the laws as to say how people should be pardoned. Governor Barbour did something else and the court agreed. And I am not trying to second guess that. But that is something that I am talking about. I come from a legislative back ground of making laws," Banks said.

Justice Waller has been on the court since 1996 and was among three dissenting votes on the pardon case.

He says his long record on the court should speak for itself.

"My record, over 15 years, I have got over 500 opinions. We have a good stable supreme court. I think our decision are predictable. I think the people have some assurance that their property and lives are secure," Waller said.

Judicial races in Mississippi is non-partisan and Waller says he thinks the race will stay non-political.

"I think judicial races should be more than other. I think the people is part of the confidence in government. We shouldn't get involved in mudslinging. I think my record speaks for itself and I stand on that," Waller said.

Three other Supreme Court seats are up for election this November.



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