/Court of Appeals Judge Griffis to replace Waller on state’s high court

Court of Appeals Judge Griffis to replace Waller on state’s high court

Waller, who is the chief justice of the Supreme Court and represents the Central District, announced his retirement on January 31st. The state law states that the chief justice is the justice who has served the longest time. This includes presiding over Supreme Court and serving as head for the entire state judiciary. Southern District Justice Michael Randolph, Hattiesburg, will take over the role of chief justice when Waller is retired. The Supreme Court chief justice appoints the chief judge of the Court of Appeals’ 10 members. Waller had named Griffis as Court of Appeals Chief Judge L. Joseph Lee’s replacement upon his retirement. In January Griffis was to be sworn in as chief judge. However, a member of the Court of Appeals will now be named chief judge. Griffis has served on the Court of Appeals from 2003 to 2005. Bryant stated in a statement that Griffis had served an exceptional time on the Mississippi Court of Appeals and that his vast experience will be very useful as he transitions into his new role. He is highly respected by his peers and has an exceptional legal mind. I believe Judge Griffis will be an asset to the Mississippi Supreme Court. “Additionally I want to thank Chief Justice Waller, who has served the people of Mississippi for over 22 years. I wish him well as he retires. People of Mississippi owe him gratitude.” There have been rumors that Waller (66 years old) might be considering running for governor in 2019. An incumbent judge cannot run for another office. Mississippi Today asked Waller about his thoughts on running for governor. He said that he was not inclined to run, but that he had not ruled out the possibility. Waller’s father was governor in the 1970s. Griffis will run for the Central District Supreme Court position in November 2020. Bryant announced Wednesday that he will name Cory Wilson (R-Madison) to Griffis’ seat at the Court of Appeals. The governor will need to call a special election in the next few weeks to fill Wilson’s House seat.