2006 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Gordon, Tollison, Albritton, Browning, Bryan, Burton, Butler, Clarke, Dearing, Frazier, Gollott, Harden, Hewes, Jackson (15th), Jackson (11th), Kirby, Little, Moffatt, Nunnelee, Posey, Simmons, Thomas, White, Wilemon, Williamson

Senate Concurrent Resolution 600

(As Adopted by Senate and House)


     WHEREAS, former Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Armis Eugene Hawkins, the man credited with creating the Mississippi Court of Appeals, passed away on February 28, 2006; and

     WHEREAS, he is remembered by friends and colleagues as a legal scholar and one of the court's most prolific writers, who guided the court through several years of tremendous reform of the judicial system; and

     WHEREAS, Mississippi Justice Armis Eugene Hawkins, the son of Charles Mayfield Hawkins and Lela Hill Hawkins, was born in Natchez on Armistice Day, 1920.  He graduated from Houston High School in Houston, Mississippi, in 1938, attended Wood Junior College from 1938 to 1939, the University of Mississippi undergraduate school from 1940 to 1941, and the University of Mississippi School of Law from 1941 to 1942.  In June of 1942, Armis Hawkins volunteered for the United States Marine Corps as a Private and was discharged in 1946 as a First Lieutenant.  He graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1947, whereupon he practiced law in Houston, Mississippi, until 1981; and

     WHEREAS, Armis Hawkins was elected by the people of the Third Circuit Court District to serve two terms as District Attorney (1952-1959).  In 1959 he was a candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi; in 1960 he was the Campaign Manager for John F. Kennedy for President.  Judge Armis Hawkins was elected in November of 1980 to the position of Supreme Court Justice and was elevated to the highest judicial post in Mississippi, serving as Chief Justice from 1993 until his retirement in 1995.  He was a member of the American Bar Association; Mississippi Trial Lawyers Association; Association of Trial Lawyers of America; a charter member of the Houston Jaycees and Chickasaw Development Foundation; a member of Houston First Baptist Church; he was a 32nd Degree Mason; Order of the Eastern Star; American Legion; Veteran of Foreign Wars; and a Century Member, Boy Scouts of America; and

     WHEREAS, during his tenure as Chief Justice, he presided over improvements including the creation of an Appellate Court, the Administrative Office of Courts, and the Judicial Advisory Study Committee, as well as the enactment of provisions for law clerks and secretaries for trial judges and the nonpartisan election of judges.  Judge Hawkins also raised his voice against lawyers who advertised, and he argued against the large amounts of money judges raised to get elected and called for spending caps for judges; and

     WHEREAS, survivors include:  his wife of 57 years, Pat Burrow Hawkins of Houston; two daughters, Janice Hawkins Hicks and husband Phil of Memphis, Tennessee, and Dr. Jean Anne Rogers and husband, the Honorable Mike Rogers of Murfreesboro, Tennessee; son, Jim Hawkins of New Orleans, Louisiana; grandson, Geoffrey Brent Strewsbury of Memphis, Tennessee; three granddaughters, Jan Margaret Rogers, Anne Katherine Rogers and Addison Rogers of Murfreesboro, Tennessee; and

     WHEREAS, it is with sadness that we note the passing of this man who made his mark on the Mississippi judiciary and who has served his country, his state and the legal profession so nobly and so well:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the life and distinguished judicial career of former Mississippi Chief Justice Armis Eugene Hawkins, and express to his surviving family the sympathy of the Legislature and our thanks for his dedication and service to the state and its citizens.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to the surviving family of Justice Hawkins and be transmitted to the Chief Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court, and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.