Gartin Building Courtroom with the Great Seal of the State of Mississippi

Chief Judge King's investiture is set for June 1

May 24, 2004

An investiture ceremony for Mississippi Court of Appeals Chief Judge Leslie D. King is scheduled for Tuesday, June 1, at 11 a.m. at the Capitol. The investiture ceremony will be held in Room 216, the Old Supreme Court Chambers.

Supreme Court Justice James E. Graves Jr. will be the keynote speaker. Court of Appeals Presiding Judge Billy G. Bridges will administer the oath of office.

Court of Appeals Presiding Judge Leslie H. Southwick will preside over the ceremony. Court of Appeals Judges William H. Myers and Joe Lee will make introductions. Retired Court of Appeals Judge Mary Libby Payne will offer the opening prayer and make remarks. Rev. Charles Barley, Pastor of St. Matthew African Methodist Episcopal Church in Greenville, will offer the benediction.

A reception will follow immediately afterwards at the Court of Appeals Building at 656 North State Street.

Judge King, 55, of Greenville, became chief judge of the Court of Appeals on May 1. He assumed the administrative responsibilities formerly held by Court of Appeals Chief Judge Roger H. McMillin Jr., who retired. Supreme Court Chief Justice James W. Smith Jr. appointed Judge King as chief judge for an unexpired term that will run through Dec. 31, 2006.

The appointment of a chief judge as administrative head of the court is unrelated to the Governor's responsibility to appoint a new judge to serve out the unexpired term of Judge McMillin. Judge McMillin's term on the court would have expired in January 2011. Gov. Haley Barbour has yet to make that appointment.

Judge King is the first African-American to serve as chief judge of the Court of Appeals. He has served on the Court of Appeals since it was created. He was elected in 1994 from the 2nd Congressional District and began hearing cases in 1995.

Before his election to the Court of Appeals, he served for 15 years in the Mississippi House of Representatives. He previously served as a youth court counselor for Washington County, a public defender, a youth court prosecutor and as municipal judge for the town of Metcalfe.