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Mississippi College

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice James Smith Receives Award

July 16, 2008

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice James W. Smith Jr. will receive an award for his work statewide with children and families.

Southern Christian Services for Children & Youth is presenting Smith, a Mississippi College graduate, with its 2008 "Lookin to the Future Award" at its meeting Friday in Natchez.

Smith received a bachelor's degree in history and political science from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1965. He received his master's from MC in Clinton and a law degree in 1973 from the Mississippi College School of Law in downtown Jackson. He was an advocate for the state's first adoption day in November 2004, say officials with Southern Christian Services Children & Youth. Several chancery courts in Mississippi now observe National Adoption Day every November.

The Brandon resident has worked tirelessly to protect children first as a district attorney, later as a youth court judge and again as a Supreme Court justice, noted Sue Cherney, a leader with the organization. Her group seeks to have a positive long-term impact "on all children and youth in our care" and provide professional and cost-effective services to families in Mississippi.

Smith has served on the Mississippi Supreme Court since January 1993. He is the longest serving justice on the nine-member court with its members elected from three Mississippi districts. Appeals that go directly to the Supreme Court include annexations, bond issues, and death penalty cases. Justices are elected to eight-year terms.

The Mississippian has served as the court's chief justice since April 1, 2004.

PHOTO: Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice James W. Smith Jr.