Les McLemore on “balance” of John Reeves nomination

Jackson City Council President Leslie McLemore is better than his stated reason for opposing the nomination of former State Rep. John Reeves for the position of Jackson Municipal Judge.

Reeves served honorably and well in the Mississippi House of Representatives for 24 years, serving a district in South Jackson that whole time. Mayor Frank Melton has now nominated Reeves, an accomplished lawyer, to replace Municipal Judge Melvin Priester, who was recently promoted to Circuit Judge. Priester is black, Reeves is white.

I am personally quite fond of Les McLemore, whom I have called “Dean” since I first met him, out of respect for his academic credentials. But he is opposing Reeves’ nomination not because he believes Reeves is unqualified, and not because of his politics. As Dean McLemore described his opposition to Reeves in a reported C-L story this morning, “… [Reeves] is replacing an African-American male on the Municipal Court, and I think we need some balance. I think we need an African-American female.”

Good grief, Dean. I’m not sure whether that means that you think John Reeves would unbalance the court because he’s white, or because he’s a man. Either way, you can do better, and I hope you’ll reconsider your position.

Clarion Ledger