Senior Hinds Circuit Court Judge Tomie T. Green of Jackson announced today that she will not seek re-election in November. She plans to retire Dec. 31 after 24 years on the bench and 35 years of public service.
“I have served this district in all three branches of our government,” Judge Green, 69, said. “In the executive branch, I served as an assistant district attorney in Hinds and Yazoo counties. In the legislative branch, I served two terms in the Mississippi House of Representatives. And, lastly, I’ve served as a compassed member of the Mississippi Judiciary.
“I’ve been the first in a number of positions, but my purpose has always been to be a bridge builder for those who would follow. I pray that I have accomplished my task. I’ve never had any enemies to punish, nor any friends to reward. Justice has been my only obligation.”
Green, as the longest serving circuit judge, became senior circuit judge for the Seventh Circuit Court District of Hinds County on Jan. 1, 2011. She was the first African American and the first woman to have the leadership role of senior circuit judge in the Seventh Circuit Court District. She also was the first woman elected to the bench in the Seventh Circuit. She took office on Jan. 4, 1999. She was unopposed for re-election for five terms.
As senior judge, Green completed work that equipped all four circuit courtrooms with computer-integrated technology. She worked with the Mississippi Supreme Court to implement Mississippi Electronic Courts, the online electronic filing and docket management system, in the Hinds County Circuit Court. Judge Green initiated video remote arraignment in the district, which allows communications with detainees housed in jail through the use of the internet. The remote access technology which she introduced has been an essential and vital part of keeping courts open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Green said that her emphasis has included increased monitoring of pretrial indictees; providing more timely indictment and disposition of criminal cases; providing more timely disposition of civil matters through alternative dispute resolution; expanding the drug intervention court; developing veterans, mental health and behavioral health programs; increasing judicial security on and off court premises; and making wider use of digital technology and teleconferencing, internet streaming and closed circuit television for selected civil and criminal proceedings.
Judge Green served two terms on the Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on Rules, and served on the Supreme Court’s Committee on Media and the Courts. After the Supreme Court allowed camera coverage of court proceedings starting in 2003, Judge Green’s court became the first to allow locally televised coverage of a trial.
Judge Green began her legal career as a judicial law clerk for U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate in 1984. She served for three years as an assistant district attorney for the Seventh Circuit District, which at the time included Hinds and Yazoo counties.
She served two terms in the Mississippi House of Representatives. As a legislator, she served as Vice-Chair of the House Ethics Committee, and as sub-chair of the House Judiciary A committee. She also served on the Elections, Insurance, Managed Health Care, Local and Private Legislation, Constitution and Investigation of State Offices committees. As a legislator, she supported efforts to bring honor and efficiency to the judiciary. As a subcommittee chair and member of the House Judiciary Committee, she participated in crafting laws that created the Mississippi Court of Appeals, the Administrative Offices of Courts, and the Mississippi Tort Claims Board.
She practiced law for 15 years before taking the bench. She was a partner in the law firm of Walker, Walker & Green of Jackson. She served as an adjunct law professor at the Mississippi College School of Law, where she taught law students procedures for successful litigation and trial court practice.
Green was educated in the Jackson Public Schools. After completing the 11th grade, she entered Tougaloo College, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree. She earned a Master of Science degree from Jackson State University, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the Mississippi College School of Law. Judge Green’s post-doctorate training includes the study of advanced trial advocacy skills and techniques through the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and the National College of Advocacy.
Judge Green is or has been a member of the Magnolia Bar Association, the Mississippi Bar, the National Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, the Hinds County Bar Association and the Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity. Other memberships include: Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the National Association of Black Legislators, Mississippi League of Women Voters, American Association of University Women and Central Mississippi Coalition of 100 Black Women.
She is the recipient of more than 25 professional awards and honors. Some of them include:
1993, Woman of the Year Award, Mississippi Chapter of the Coalition of 100 Black Women;
1994, Government Service Award of the Magnolia Bar Association;
1995, Fannie Lou Hamer Leadership Award of the Mississippi Democratic Party;
1996, Jack Young Legal Award of the NAACP;
1997-98, Center for Policy Alternatives Arthur Flemming Fellowship Award;
1998, Nominee for the Good Housekeeping Women in Government Award;
2000, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Outstanding Government Service Award;
2005, U.S. Congressional Record Citation;
2006, Phenomenal Woman Award from the Smith Robertson Historical Museum and the Magnolia Bar Association’s 2006 R. Jess Brown Award;
2007, Tougaloo College Meritorious Leadership Citation and the Brown, Young & Hall Award from the Jackson Branch of the NAACP;
2010, Legal Service Award from the Mississippi NAACP;
2011, Thurgood Marshall Award at the City of Jackson’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration Banquet;
2018, IMAGE Award in Law from the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.; and
2019, Tougaloo College’s Presidential Citation at its 150th Anniversary.