CL – Group: Barbour should replace DeLaughter with black judge

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.

Clarion-Ledger
8/6/9