490 A BICENTENNIAL HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI 490 A BICENTENNIAL HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI Tarbell’s term expired in May 1876. He would not be reappointed in a state no longer under Republican control. Judge Simrall’s term ended in May 1878, and, like Tarbell, he would not be reappointed. However, despite being appointed to the Court by the Republican-controlled state government, Judge Simrall enjoyed a good reputation and later served as the chairman of the judiciary committee in the 1890 constitutional convention. In any event, by 1878 all Republican-appointed judges would be off the Court. H.H. Chalmers replaced Judge Peyton; Josiah A.P. Campbell, a former Confederate officer who had practiced law in Kosciusko prior to the war, replaced Judge Tarbell; and James Z. George replaced Simrall and became chief justice. George, perhaps, left the biggest mark of the three on Mississippi history. Along with L.Q.C. Lamar, George orchestrated the Democratic Party’s turnaround in 1875. He served in the Mexican-American War. He also served as the reporter for the High Court of Errors and Appeals, preparing a multi-volume collection of cases decided there. He served Mississippi as a United States Senator, strongly advocated in favor of the 1890 constitutional convention, and played a large role in the convention. While serving in the United States Senate, George earned the nickname, “Great Commoner of Mississippi,” and played a key part in drafting the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. George also left his mark on Mississippi’s Institutions of Higher Learning. He helped obtain a charter for Mississippi A&M College, now known as Mississippi State University, and he helped the University of Mississippi obtain a land grant from Congress. George’s statue can be found in the U.S. Capitol. Courts Under the Constitution of 1890 Mississippi ushered its 1890 constitution in amidst confusion, disenchantment, and—if the tone of at least one contemporary newspaper treatment is any guide—anger. Many considered the 1890 constitution to be unworkable and indecipherable. Of the new constitution, an editorial in the February 21, 1891, Jackson Clarion-Ledger read, “The Constitution has proven a ‘mess’from first to last. Nobody understands it. The plain people do not comprehend it; the lawyers cannot interpret it; the Attorney General does not know how to construe it; the Governor does not understand it; and the Supreme Court judges cannot fathom its mysteries.” Whether the people and officials understood it or not, the constitution of 1890 went into effect and remains the state’s constitution to the current day, albeit in a heavily amended form. Several calls for a new constitution have failed, the constitution from 1890 weathering them all. Although the now-familiar issue of elected versus appointed judges once again reared its head, in the end the 1890 constitution provided for judges appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Supreme Court would once again consist of three judges chosen from three districts. The judges must be at least thirty years old, and must be citizens and practicing lawyers for five years. The Supreme Court had appellate jurisdiction only, although there had been an effort to give the Supreme Court original jurisdiction over cases wherein the State was a party. The constitution explicitly established a bifurcated system of trial courts, with circuit courts as courts of law and chancery courts as courts of equity. CARROLL GARTIN JUSTICE BUILDING The Carroll Gartin Justice Building is home to the Mississippi Supreme Court, the Mississippi Court of Appeals, and the State Law Library. The building is named after former Lieutenant Governor Carroll Gartin. He died while completing his third term as lieutenant governor in December 1966. In 1993, planning for a new justice building began. Construction began in 2001 and the courts started moving into the incomplete building in 2008. The four-story 198,000 square feet limestone building had a cost of $37 million and was completed in 2011. It was designed by Dale and Associates Architects and Eley Guild Hardy Architects. PHOTO BY TATE NATIONS