Baby-Killer Ad Part of Hard-Fought Election that Ousted 3 Miss. Justices
Posted Nov 5, 2008 7:46 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Mississippi Chief Justice Jim Smith and two other incumbents on the state's high court lost election battles yesterday in a race that included a negative baby-killer ad and debates over business favoritism and liberalism.
Other incumbents who lost were Justice Oliver Diaz Jr., who was acquitted of bribery and tax evasion in two federal trials in 2005 and 2006, and Justice Charles “Chuck” Easley, who at one point had sought election to two Supreme Court seats, the Associated Press reports.
Easley had said he filed for his own seat and that of Justice Ann Hannaford Lamar to protest her appointment by the governor. Easley had said the court is dominated by governor-appointed liberals demonstrating “cronyism at its worst.”
Easley withdrew from the Lamar race and Lamar, the only female justice on the court, was re-elected, the Clarion-Ledger reports.
Smith was defeated by Jim Kitchens in the state’s “shocking race,” according to the Clarion-Ledger. Kitchens “apparently rode a wave of resentment over the perception that the current court is tilted toward business,” the newspaper says.
Easley lost to Appeals Court Judge David Chandler and Diaz lost to Chancery Judge Bubba Pierce. Diaz “survived two criminal trials and Hurricane Katrina but he couldn't survive his re-election bid,” the Clarion-Ledger reported in a separate story.
Diaz had been a regular dissenter on the pro-business court, the Clarion-Ledger says. One ad paid for by a group called the Law Enforcement Alliance of America had accused Diaz of being "the only one ... voting" for two baby killers.