Court takes step forward

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, January 13, 2004

The swearing in of Jess Dickinson to the Mississippi SupremeCourt was a red-letter day for Mississippi’s legal system — amajor stepping-stone in bringing back the prestige, honor anddecorum such a vital institution must portray.

Promising to bring back the moral responsibility at which hispredecessor thumbed his nose, Dickinson is a breath of fresh airthat hopefully will allow Mississippians to rebuild their respectfor the state’s legal and judicial system.

Problems still exist for the state’s highest court because oneof its members remains under the cloud of a federal felonyindictment. Now the stage has been set for a new attitude on thecourt and a new attitude among the people of Mississippi.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

As part of this rebuilding process, we continue to suggest areview of our process of selecting judges in Mississippi. Over $1.8million was raised among the top three candidates in the electionDickinson eventually won. While we would like to think no stringsare attached to such funds, the reality is that some contributorsdo have agendas, which they expect candidates to respect.

We do not pretend to know the answer, but an appointive systemor some hybrid form that is not dependent on special interest moneyis worth consideration.