Five members have been appointed to the Special Committee on Judicial Election Campaign Intervention.
The Special Committee, authorized by Canon 5F of the Code of Judicial Conduct, is designed to issue advisory opinions and to respond swiftly to allegations of ethical misconduct in campaigns for judicial office.
The Special Committee for the 2020 election year includes former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Oliver E. Diaz Jr. of Jackson, appointed by Supreme Court Presiding Justice James W. Kitchens; DeSoto County Court Judge Allen B. Couch Jr. of Hernando, appointed by Justice James D. Maxwell II; Tenth District Chancellor Sheila Havard Smallwood of Hattiesburg, appointed by Justice Dawn H. Beam; Sixteenth District Circuit Judge James T. Kitchens Jr. of Columbus, appointed by Justice Robert P. Chamberlin; and Court of Appeals Presiding Judge Virginia C. Carlton of Jackson, appointed by Court of Appeals Chief Judge Donna M. Barnes.
The order naming the appointees was filed Dec. 13.
The appointments order may be found here.
The Code of Judicial Conduct requires appointment of the Special Committee during each year in which elections are held for state appellate and trial court judges. The November 2020 election will include elections for four Supreme Court justices.