District Judge Carlton Reeves to receive 2016 MSU Distinguished Jurist Award

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves (Submitted photo courtesy of Horrell Photography)

STARKVILLE, Miss.— A federal judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi is being recognized with Mississippi State’s 2016 Distinguished Jurist Award.

Sponsored by the university’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration, a presentation honoring District Judge Carlton Reeves takes place Tuesday [Feb. 23] at 3 p.m. in the Robert and Freda Harrison Auditorium at Giles Hall.  

A native of Yazoo City, Reeves previously was a partner in Pigott Reeves Johnson, P.A., the Jackson-based firm he co-founded. Prior to that, he served as an assistant U.S. attorney and litigator for Phelps Dunbar law firm.

Reeves is a 1986 magna cum laude political science bachelor’s graduate of Jackson State University who went on to earn his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1989.

Before his appointment to the federal bench, he served as president of the Magnolia Bar Association, as well as numerous state boards and commissions.

On April 28, 2010, Reeves was formally nominated to a judgeship for the Southern District of Mississippi by President Barack Obama. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Dec. 19, 2010, and received his commission the following day.

The second African American federal judge from Mississippi, Reeves already has made several landmark decisions on controversial issues of race and gender during his time on the bench.

In the 2014 case of “Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant,” Reeves ruled that Mississippi’s same-sex marriage ban violated the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment.

An equally high-profile decision came in 2015 when Reeves rendered long sentences on three white youths for the brutal murder of an African American man in Jackson. Reeves read his trenchant and penetrating analysis about racial violence and animus, considered by many as a virtual history lesson.

For more information about the Distinguished Jurist Award or Reeves’ campus visit, contact Quintara Miller at 662-325-2711 or QMiller@pspa.msstate.edu.

Additional information on the political science and public administration department is found at www.pspa.msstate.edu; the College of Arts and Sciences, at www.cas.msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.