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Mississippi Gets First Black US Southern District Judge in Decades

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 20 Dec 2010 03:50pm | comments
Newly appointed US District Judge Carlton Reeves

For the first time in 25 years an African American will join the ranks of other US District Judges representing the southern half of Mississippi. MPB's Lawayne Childrey reports on the significance of Judge Carlton Reeves appointment.

Newly appointed US District Judge Carlton Reeves was one of the first African American students to integrate the Yazoo Public School system. He says he rarely saw black lawyers but never black judges in the Delta.

"And judges are the ones who made sure that integration occurred. So I knew back then and going through college and stuff that judges could have so much of an impact on the lives of the individual as well as the lives of the community."

Since receiving his law degree in 1989 Reeves has served in many law capacities including a year as president of the Magnolia Bar Association. That's why Thandi Wade current president of the MBA believes Reeves is the perfect choice.

"He's been of the defense side, he's been on the plaintiff side of practice. He's done some criminal, he's also done some family law. And he's he's also been a judicial clerk so he's gonna have a wide range of experience that's gone pretty much cover anything that's gone come before his courtroom."

Reeves law partner, Cliff Johnson says Reeves' new appointment will serve as a huge inspiration to people across the country. But he says that is especially true in Mississippi, the state with the largest African American Population per capita.

"I think there's gone be a lotta people, certainly those jury's who are gonna be inspired seeing that man on the bench. And frankly I think the color of his skin maters. Our bench needs to reflect our population and we're getting there."

Carlton Reeves will be sworn in as the states US Southern District Judge this spring. Lawayne Childrey MPB News.

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Newly appointed US District Judge Carlton Reeves


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