U.S. District Court judge William H. Barbour, Jr., rules in Jackson, Mississippi, that Mississippi judges were elected in a discriminatory manner.
1988 (Sep 12)
U.S. District Court judge William H. Barbour, Jr., ruled in Jackson, Mississippi, that Mississippi judges were elected in a discriminatory manner. The order divided some of the state's judicial districts into subdistricts where the Black majority would be 60 percent to 65 percent. This division was designed to overcome what the judge said was the White majority's bloc votes, which usually defeat the minority's preferred candidate. As a result of the ruling, eight judicial sub-districts with large Black majorities were created. At the time of the ruling, there were only three Blacks among the 111 trial and appellate judges in Mississippi, although Blacks constituted 35 percent of the state's population. In 1985, the Fund for Modern Courts, a Washington, D.C., research group, had reported that there were only 238 Blacks among the 7,500 elected judges in the United States. At that time, Blacks constituted 12 percent of the American population.