Mississippi Names First African-American Female U.S. District Judge

Mississippi Names First African-American Female U.S. District Judge

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The U.S. Senate recently confirmed the appointment of attorney Debra Brown as Mississippi’s first African-American female U.S. District Judge.  She was nominated by President Barack Obama after the post came open upon U.S. District Judge W. Allen Pepper Jr.’s death in 2012.  She will preside over court in Greenville.

“I am confident Debra Brown will serve with distinction as a United States district court judge in Mississippi,” Sen. Thad Cochran told the Senate before the vote. “Her personal background, educational accomplishments, and legal experience should serve her well as she assumes this important position. The Senate vote is recognition of her qualifications to serve as a member of the federal judiciary.”

Sen. Roger Wicker was elated at Brown’s appointment. “I am thrilled and honored to be part of this historic moment for Mississippi. Ms. Brown is a proven trailblazer. Our country needs judges who have a record of professional excellence, integrity, and public service. I am confident her service will be good for our nation, our state, and especially good for the city of Greenville, where she will preside.”

Brown is a Yazoo City native. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Mississippi State University in 1987 and worked as an architect in Washington, D.C. before going to law school. She earned a law degree from the University of Mississippi in 1997. She is a shareholder in the Jackson law firm Wise Carter Child & Caraway, which she joined in January 2012. Before that, she was a partner at the Jackson law firm Phelps Dunbar.  She is a member of the Leadership Mississippi Class of 2008.


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