The Clarion-Ledger, 10/22/8

Jim Kitchens, a folksy, down-home lawyer and lifelong Crystal Springs resident, says he is uneasy about the direction of the state’s highest court.

Kitchens, who has practiced more than 40 years, said the Supreme Court used to be held in high esteem by most residents, but he doesn’t believe that is the case now.

Kitchens said as he talks to lawyers and lay people today, he sees apprehension and distrust of the court. “The quality hasn’t improved and has deteriorated in some aspects,” Kitchens told The Clarion-Ledger editorial board Tuesday.

Kitchens, 65, is trying to unseat Jim Smith, 64, the chief justice on the nine-member court, in the November general election. The third candidate in the race is former Chancery Judge Ceola James of Vicksburg.