Supreme Court Justice William C. Mims has notified the governor and legislative leaders that he will not seek reelection to the court next year when his term comes to an end on March 31.
By letter this morning, the justice said, “Serving the people of the Commonwealth for a 12-year term on the Court, and 30 years overall, has been an honor beyond measure. I have been blessed with meaningful work and valued colleagues.
He added, “Now, as I approach my 65th birthday in June 2022, the time has come to discern other opportunities to serve.”
His announcement means that the 2022 General Assembly will have the opportunity to fill his seat.
Mims concluded, “I am providing this notice now so individuals who wish to be considered will have sufficient time to advance their candidacies.”
Mims was elected to the high court in 2010, succeeding Justice Barbara Milano Keenan, who took a seat on the 4th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals. He was the 100th person to serve on the Supreme Court of Virginia.
He was Attorney General from 2009-2010, moving up from his post as chief deputy attorney general after then-AG Bob McDonnell resigned to run a successful campaign for governor that year.
Prior to his time as AG, Mims was a legislator representing the Leesburg area. He was elected to House of Delegates in 1991, then to the Virginia Senate in 1998. He served on the Virginia Code Commission from 2000-2006 and on the Virginia Housing Commission from 1994-2006.
Mims, who grew up in Harrisonburg, graduated from the College of William and Mary and the George Washington University law school. He also holds a master’s of law degree from Georgetown University.
He practiced law for four years at Hazel & Thomas before spending 14 years as a solo practitioner and with a firm then known as Mims, Atwill & Leigh in Leesburg. His practice included civil litigation, real estate transactions and general business matters.
When he joined the court, he was only the second justice to have served in the legislature, as attorney general and on the Supreme Court.
The late Gov. Albertis S. Harrison Jr. also held those positions, and had the added distinction of having been governor.