William Lowe “Bill” Waller, Jr., is a native and current resident of Jackson. Most recently, he was on the state Supreme Court for 21 years, serving the last 10 as Chief Justice, the highest level attainable in the judicial branch of state government.
During his tenure on the state’s highest court, Waller was a strong defender of the rule of law. He consistently worked to reshape the court in a conservative direction, helped end lawsuit abuse and sought to repair the state’s judicial reputation to foster an attractive environment for economic growth. His successes while on the Supreme Court include a pay raise for judges, an expansion of drug courts and an expanding electronic record system. The court also decreed criminal court rules that have helped defendants see judges more quickly and efficiently.
A lifelong conservative, he was elected three times to the Mississippi Supreme Court and was endorsed by the Mississippi Republican Party for his record of service, upholding the Constitution and the rule of law.
Prior to his election to the Mississippi Supreme Court, Waller practiced law with the firm of Waller and Waller in Jackson for over 20 years and served as a Municipal Judge for the City of Jackson.
In addition to his legal and judicial career, Waller has more than 30 years of commissioned service including the Mississippi Army National Guard and the United States Army Reserve and is presently assigned to the Retired Reserve. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College and a recipient of the Legion of Merit. He attained the rank of Brigadier General while serving as the Commander of the 66th Troop Command, Mississippi Army National Guard, once again reaching the highest level in leadership.
He has received significant recognition for his work and service. Waller was the recipient of the Judicial Innovation Award for 2003–2004 by the Hinds County Bar Association and the Jackson Young Lawyers Association. He received the Chief Justice Award in 2005 for his work as chairman of a special study committee to develop a statewide e-filing and docket management system. He received the Mississippi State University Pre-Law Society’s Distinguished Jurist award in 2009. He received the Judicial Excellence Award for 2011–2012 from the Capital Area Bar Association and the Jackson Young Lawyers Association; and the Mississippi Bar Association’s Judicial Excellence Award for 2013. In 2012, Waller was inducted as a Fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation, and Mississippi College School of Law presented him with an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. He serves as an adjunct faculty member at the Mississippi College School of Law and the University of Mississippi School of Law.
Waller is currently a member of the Stennis Institute Advisory Board at Mississippi State University. He is a former Eagle Scout and served on the Advisory Board of the Andrew Jackson Council, Boy Scouts of America.
Waller is the son of Mississippi’s former Governor, William “Bill” Waller, Sr., and Carroll Waller, the former First Lady of Mississippi. He graduated from Murrah High School in 1970 and Mississippi State University in 1974, where he was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. He received his law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1977. He and his wife, Charlotte, have three children and two grandchildren and are members of First Baptist Church Jackson, where he has served as chairman of the deacons.