Diverse appointment’s overdue

After making almost 25 judicial appointments since taking office in 2004, Gov. Haley Barbour finally got around to appointing an African-American attorney to fill a judicial vacancy. It’s about time.

n tapping a successor to disgraced former Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter, Barbour named African-American attorney Malcolm Harrison to serve out DeLaughter’s term, which ends Jan. 3, 2011.

Harrison, 40, is a former president of the Magnolia Bar Association. He said he was deeply honored by Barbour asking him to serve in the $104,170-a-year job

“We are going to work hard for the people and return judicial fairness to all citizens,” Harrison said.

Harrison “brings extensive criminal and civil experience to the Circuit Court bench from his distinguished service as a prosecutor and as a lawyer in private practice,” Barbour said in a statement. “I appreciate his continued dedication to public service as he takes on this new role.”

The appointment comes after the Magnolia Bar, a group of black lawyers, questioned the lack of diversity in Barbour’s appointments of judges.

Barbour made a good choice in tapping Harrison for the post and diversity in the governor’s judicial appointments is long overdue.

Clarion-Ledger
11/1/9