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

Justice Scalia to speak at May 20 Gartin Justice Building dedication

May 17, 2011

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia will be the keynote speaker at the May 20 dedication ceremony for the Carroll Gartin Justice Building. The building, which houses the Mississippi Supreme Court and the Mississippi Court of Appeals, is located at 450 High Street in Jackson.

The dedication ceremony is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. in the second floor En Banc Courtroom.

The dedication will be webcast live on the Supreme Court’s Internet web site,

Members of the media wishing to do camera coverage are requested to arrive early and be set up by 10 a.m. The courtroom will be closed and the lobby outside the courtroom will be cleared at 10:25 a.m. in preparation for the processional.

Seats for members of the media will be on the west side of the balcony of the En Banc Courtroom.

A large crowd is expected to attend the dedication. Overflow viewing areas with television monitors will be set up on the first floor in the Court of Appeals Courtroom and in the adjacent meeting room.

All Gartin Building parking areas will be reserved for invited guests.

Speakers, in addition to Justice Scalia, are expected to include Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr., Gov. Haley Barbour, Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, House Speaker William J. McCoy, and Mississippi Bar President Nina Stubblefield Tollison.

Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillin will call the ceremony to order. Bishop Joseph N. Latino of the Catholic Diocese of Jackson will give the invocation. The Mississippi National Guard Color Guard will present the colors. The 41st Army Band Ensemble will provide special music.

Judge James E. Graves Jr. of the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will welcome special guests. Presiding Justice George C. Carlson Jr. will present a history of the building. Retired Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Charles W. Pickering Sr. will give a remembrance of Lt. Gov. Carroll Gartin, for whom the building is named. Court of Appeals Chief Judge L. Joseph Lee will introduce Justice Scalia. Presiding Justice Jess H. Dickinson will deliver closing remarks. Rev. Timothy Howard, Senior Pastor of Anderson South, will give the benediction.

The dedication ceremony will celebrate the completion of a lengthy major construction project. Planning for a new justice building began in 1993 when the Legislature authorized creation of the Court of Appeals and the Administrative Office of Courts. The Gartin Justice Building houses the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Supreme Court Clerk, State Library, Administrative Office of Courts, Board of Bar Admissions, the Commission on Continuing Legal Education and the Board of Certified Court Reporters.

Construction began in 2001 and was completed in stages. The courts and other entities moved into the facility in February 2008. Prior to the move, the Court of Appeals and Administrative Office of Courts had been housed in a rented building downtown. After the move, construction work continued with the demolition of the top three floors of the old Gartin Building, renovation of two floors of the old building under the plaza, and completion of the columned south entrance facing the New Capitol. The final phase of the work included completion of a first floor courtroom for the Court of Appeals.

The neo-classical architecture of the building was designed to complement the New Capitol, which is located just south of the justice facility. The first floor Court of Appeals Courtroom and the Supreme Court’s second floor En Banc Courtroom reflect architectural design elements of the Old Supreme Court Chambers in the New Capitol. The four-story, 162,000 square foot structure is topped with a copper roof. The building has limestone columns and an exterior of more than 10,000 pieces of gray Indiana limestone.

The Carroll Gartin Justice Building and the adjacent pedestrian mall were completed at a cost of approximately $50 million.

The new facility bears the same name as the old: the Carroll Gartin Justice Building. The Legislature voted for the name in 2004.