Judge Tomie Green announces her retirement from the bench

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After serving on the bench in Hinds County for 25 years, Judge Tomie Green has relayed to the Jackson Advocate that she will be stepping down when her term ends in December. Green says she let the February 1st qualifying deadline pass and won’t seek re-election in the 7th Circuit Court District. The move will effectively end an illustrious career that saw Green go from litigator, to law partner, to district attorney, to representative, and then to the bench. Green says it was time to allow new voices and leadership to emerge. 

“If you stay too long, other opportunities to shine and have fresh ideas will have passed,” she said. “Everyone that’s been in public office at some point has to ask the question if they have accomplished all they have been able to do. It was nothing more than it being time to move on to other avenues of serving.”

Green was the first Black judge, and the first woman, to serve as Senior Court Judge in the 7th Circuit Court District. She says there had never been a woman to sit on the bench in circuit court and acceptance was sometimes hard to come by. 

“I can remember being told I would be a one-termer. I knew the governor at the time was not supportive,” she said. “I knew there were people who were leery of me, not just as a woman but as an African-American in Hinds County.”

Green says it finally hit her on Tuesday when the deadline passed that she was approaching the end of her time on the bench. She likened it to the moment she realized that her husband was losing his fight against cancer. She says there isn’t emptiness, but hope for things that will occur next for her in life. 

“I had a life before I ever went into public office. I was married. I had two children. I worked in a different profession and went back to law school at night while working full time,” she said. “I realize that there is life after the bench. My term ends in December, but there are stories to be told.”

After serving on the bench in Hinds County for 25 years, Judge Tomie Green has relayed to the Jackson Advocate that she will be stepping down when her term ends in December. Green says she let the February 1st qualifying deadline pass and won’t seek re-election in the 7th Circuit Court District. The move will effectively end an illustrious career that saw Green go from litigator, to law partner, to district attorney, to representative, and then to the bench. Green says it was time to allow new voices and leadership to emerge. 

“If you stay too long, other opportunities to shine and have fresh ideas will have passed,” she said. “Everyone that’s been in public office at some point has to ask the question if they have accomplished all they have been able to do. It was nothing more than it being time to move on to other avenues of serving.”

Green was the first Black judge, and the first woman, to serve as Senior Court Judge in the 7th Circuit Court District. She says there had never been a woman to sit on the bench in circuit court and acceptance was sometimes hard to come by. 

“I can remember being told I would be a one-termer. I knew the governor at the time was not supportive,” she said. “I knew there were people who were leery of me, not just as a woman but as an African-American in Hinds County.”

Green says it finally hit her on Tuesday when the deadline passed that she was approaching the end of her time on the bench. She likened it to the moment she realized that her husband was losing his fight against cancer. She says there isn’t emptiness, but hope for things that will occur next for her in life. 

“I had a life before I ever went into public office. I was married. I had two children. I worked in a different profession and went back to law school at night while working full time,” she said. “I realize that there is life after the bench. My term ends in December, but there are stories to be told.”

The Jackson Advocate will have more on this story in next week’s issue. 

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Judge Tomie Green announces her retirement from the bench

By Brad Franklin
February 5, 2022