Don't let money corrupt state's judiciary elections

This is an open letter to all candidates for justices on the Mississippi Supreme Court.

You 10 candidates have an opportunity to render immeasurable service to our state.

Adopt a code that states none of you will (1) spend more than $35,000, exclusive of car and personal travel expenses, (2) accept a campaign contribution from any person in excess of $250, or (3) run any 30-second or 1-minute spot TV commercial.

These conditions will not prevent any of you from making yourself well known in your district or waging a vigorous campaign. There will be opportunities to speak to clubs and meetings, and the local and state bar can see that free time is provided on local television stations for panel appearances and debates. Also, there is public television which will furnish ample air time for all of you to appear, with none being favored over the other.

In doing this you will inspire us with an incredibly magnificent example.

The Mississippi Supreme Court, all of institutions, should be sacrosanct.

Only you can keep the money changers out of our temple of justice.

Armis E. Hawkins


(Editor's note: Armis Hawkins is a retired chief justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court.)

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