Mississippi Appoints 1st Black Clerk of Highest Court

Muriel B. Ellis will become the first African-American clerk of Mississippi’s Supreme Court when she takes the oath of office July 1.


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Mississippi Supreme Court Clerk Kathy Gillis has tapped Muriel B. Ellis to succeed her once she retires June 30, thus making Ellis the first African-American clerk of the Mississippi Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.

“It will be an honor to serve as the clerk of the Supreme Court,” said the 53-year-old Ellis, Fox News 25 reports.

Ellis, a 23-year veteran in the clerk’s office, was also the first African-American deputy clerk and chief deputy clerk of the Mississippi Supreme Court, reports Fox News 25.

“Muriel Ellis has been an able deputy who is prepared to continue the excellent service the clerk’s office has provided under Kathy’s leadership,” said Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr., according to Fox News 25.

Ellis was visiting the “happiest place on earth”—Disney World—with her three grandchildren when she first heard word of her appointment. That night, Ellis remembers her grandson saying to her daughter, “Dreams do come true,” notes Fox News 25.

Ellis, who will take the oath of office July 1, will begin her tenure during a period of significant changes, encompassing the court’s transition to electronically filing its records, according to Fox News 25.

The office of the Clerk of the Courts, according to Fox News 25, is responsible for housing records of the Mississippi Supreme Court and the Mississippi Court of Appeals, managing approximately 1,700 open cases at any given time, in addition to tracking each appeal for timeliness and completeness from the initial case filing until a decision is rendered by the court.

Read more at Fox News 25.

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