The federal conviction of defrocked Hinds County Judge Bobby DeLaughter will give Gov. Haley Barbour an opportunity to appoint an African American to the bench, a black lawyer’s group says.
Since taking office in 2004 Barbour has made 20 judicial appointments, none of them African American.
That has led the Magnolia Bar Association, a group comprised of black lawyers, and others to question the lack of diversity in the governor’s judicial appointments.
“Gov. Barbour has made a choice not to appoint an African American to any judicial vacancy,” said Gale Walker, president of Magnolia Bar. “Because of the abundance of qualified African-American attorneys in Hinds County, the governor will have a prime opportunity to appoint an African American to the bench.”
But Barbour and the head of his judicial advisory committee say few blacks are applying for judicial posts.