The Mississippi Supreme Court convened in Hazlehurst on Saturday for the investiture of Justice James Warren Kitchens of Crystal Springs.
Chief Justice William L. Wallter, Jr. presided during Saturday’s ceremony. He remarked that he believed it was the first time the Mississippi Supreme Court had held a session in Copiah County.
Retired Circuit Judge Joe N. Pigott of McComb administered the judicial oath to Kitchens during the investiture. Mary Kitchens assisted her husband with the robing and held the Bible as he took the oath.
After taking the oath, Justice Kitchens presented the Bible used in the ceremony to Circuit Judge Lamar Pickard and Circuit Clerk Edna Stevens for the future use of the courthouse.
Several former employees and colleagues of Justice Kitchens shared remarks, with emphasis on his fairness, integrity, and colorful personality.
Justice Kitchens was elected to an eight-year term on the Mississippi Supreme Court in November 2008.
Justice Kitchens in his remarks pointed out that Copiah County has an outstanding legal legacy, including several pioneers. “Here in Copiah County, women lawyers were trying cases before juries they weren’t allowed to serve on,” Justice Kitchens said.
The last Mississippi Supreme Court Justice from Copiah County was Olney Arrington, who served from 1950 to 1963.