By order of late yesterday evening, Judge Carlton Reeves entered a well-researched order sua sponte (meaning without motion of any party) announcing his recusal in the case of NAACP v. Haley Barbour, et al. The order essentially says that, out of an abundance of caution and in an effort to protect the integrity and legitimacy of the judiciary, Judge Reeves is recusing. Judge Reeves says that even though it would not be true, some observers might question his ability to be impartial since he had been a life member of the NAACP at the time the suit was filed. Reeves has since resigned his life membership in the NAACP, and says that it will not be grounds for recusal.
Here’s the order:
Judge Carlton Reeves Order of Recusal
This recusal, like Judge Dan Jordan’s recusal, is the type of thing that allows us to keep faith in our judiciary. In hyper-political times like the present, it is vital to have a court system that is above reproach. That’s why Lt. Gov. Bryant’s remarks were so troubling to so many people.