All Mississippi appellate judges up for reelection in 2024 plan to seek another term on the state’s two highest courts.
Four justices on the Mississippi Supreme Court and three judges on the Mississippi Court of Appeals told Mississippi Today they intend to qualify for a new eight-year term in office.
Below are the judges who plan to campaign next year for reelection:
Mississippi Supreme Court
Justice Jim Kitchens (Central District)
Justice Dawn Beam (Southern District)
Justice Robert Chamberlin (Northern District)
Justice James Maxwell (Northern District)
Mississippi Court of Appeals
Judge Latrice Westbrooks (District 2)
Judge Jack Wilson (District 3)
Judge Joel Smith (District 5)
The qualifying period for the appellate offices opens on Jan. 2 and closes at 5 p.m. on Feb. 1, according to the Secretary of State’s office. Judicial offices are nonpartisan, so candidates do not participate in a party primary. All candidates will appear on the Nov. 5, 2024, general election ballot.
To run for either of the two courts, a candidate must be at least 30 years old, a qualified elector in their respective district, a licensed attorney and a state citizen for at least five years, according to the secretary of state’s office.
Judges on Mississippi’s two highest courts do not run at-large. Instead voters from their respective districts elect them.
The nine members of the Supreme Court are elected from three districts: northern, central and southern. The 10 members of the Court of Appeals are each elected from five districts across the state.
The judges are elected in staggered terms, so not all 19 seats of the two courts are up for election each cycle.
The two courts hear appeals from chancery and circuit courts across the state. The Supreme Court is the court of last resort, meaning its orders cannot be appealed to another state court.
The Supreme Court, in recent years, has issued rulings that invalidated the process for voters to place initiatives on a statewide ballot and gave the governor more power to veto specific items from appropriations bills.
The court next year is expected to rule on a case that questions whether the Legislature can appropriate tax dollars for private schools.
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