Tag Archives: Mississippi Supreme Court

U.S. Senate to Consider Justice James E. Graves, Jr.’s Nomination on Monday

According to the The Hill’s Floor Action Blog , the U.S. Senate is scheduled to consider Mississippi Supeme Court Justice James E. Graves, Jr.’s nomination to the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday, February 14, 2011 at 4:30 p.m. with a voice vote to follow at 5:30 p.m.

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Vote on Justice James E. Graves, Jr. and Other Judicial Nominees Delayed

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley delayed a Judiciary Committee vote on Justice James E. Graves, Jr.’s nomination and several others today.  Senator Grassley delayed the vote until next week when new mmbers of the committee will be named.  Senator Patrick Leahy expressed frustration at the delay on the nominees and called it demeaning.  Leahy specifically pointed out that Justice Graves nomination should have gone forward because he has the support of Mississippi’s two Republican Senators and Mississippi’s Republican Governor Haley Barbour.  The Washington Times reports  Senator Leahy said to Senator Grassley and the other GOP committee members  “I’m disappointed.  I’ll let you call Governor Barbour and explain why [a vote on Graves nomination] didn’t happen.”

Clearly, the Senators appear to be frustrated with their ability to move forward with Graves and the other judicial nominees.  Hopefully, the Committee will move quickly and smoothly next week to approve Justice Graves’ nomination.

Senate Judiciary Committee Scheduled To Consider Justice James Graves Nomination on Thursday

On Thursday, November 18, 2010, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on the nomination of Mississippi Supreme Court Justice James Graves to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  In previous posts, I discussed the Committee hearing on Justice Graves’ nomination.

 

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing For Justice James E. Graves, Jr. Scheduled for September 29, 2010

In June, I wrote about the nomination of Mississippi Supreme Court Justice James E. Graves, Jr. to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing on his nomination for September 29, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.   The proceedings may be viewed via webcast from the Committee’s Website.

On a related note, one of my fellow bloggers, Will Bardwell,  revealed last week that a relatively conservative website called The Volokh Conspiracy published a post criticizing Justice Grave’s votes in three Mississippi judicial misconduct cases.  The Volokh article implied that the distinction between Judge Graves’ vote in two of the cases, which involved white judges, versus the other case, which involved a black judge,  may have racial overtones.  The post on Will Bardwell’s blog contains a good discussion and analysis of the timing  of the Volokh article, the questioned votes and the explanation behind the votes.  Another friend and fellow blogger, Tom Freeland  (NMissCommentor), has also posted a detailed discussion about the matter. 

I won’t rehash the debate in this post because the above referenced posts do a fine job of discussing the matter.  However, I have known Justice Graves long enough to say that I don’t believe his votes were motivated by race and I don’t believe that he will allow any decision he makes as a member of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to be based upon race.   I suspect Justice Graves will confirm this at the confirmation hearing and I hope the Committee will accept his explanation and proceed to send his nomination to the  Senate Floor for confirmation.

Mississippi Supreme Court Reverses Trial Court in Lymas Case Without Addressing Constitutionality of Mississippi Damages Caps

Almost two years to the day after a Humpreys County, Mississippi court awarded Ronnie Lee Lymas a $1,679,717 judgment, the Mississippi Supreme Court set aside his award and disposed of his case. 

I first wrote about the Lymas case in an earlier post on this blog — Damage Caps v. The Mississippi Constitution:  Showdown at the Mississippi Supreme Court.   The Lymas case gained notoriety because the lower court applied Mississippi’s damages caps.  One of the key issues raised on appeal was the constitutionality of the damages cap.  The possibility that Mississippi’s damages caps could be declared unconstitutional was of significant interest to businesses and lawyers throughout the country.  In the end, the Court, sitting en banc, decided the case on a fundamental question of tort law and sidestepped the constitutionality issue.  The Court, in an opinion written by Justice James Kitchens,  found that the plaintiff failed to prove causation and that the remaining issues were moot.  For now, the question of the constitutionality of Mississippi’s damage caps will remain the subject of debate for another time in another courtroom on another case.

Mississippi Supreme Court Justice James E. Graves, Jr. Nominated To U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

The White House announced today that President Barack Obama has nominated Mississippi Supreme Court Justice James E. Graves, Jr. to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  Justice Graves is a distinguished jurist and his nomination is being celebrated in Mississippi legal circles.  I met Judge Graves when I began practicing law twenty-two years ago.  I worked with him at the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office and I am very proud of his nomination.  When confirmed, I believe he will serve with the utmost distinction.  Here is a link to the White House announcement.