(Picture By Byron E. Small)
Atlanta Business Chronicle
Gov. Nathan Deal is within his constitutional rights to appoint three new judges to an expanded Georgia Court of Appeals, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday.
The General Assembly approved legislation this year increasing the appellate court from 12 judges to 15. In October, Deal appointed three lawyers to the judgeships: Amanda Mercier, Nels Peterson and Brian Rickman.
His action drew a legal challenge from five plaintiffs, who claimed the Georgia Constitution requires that new appellate judges be elected rather than appointed.
On Friday, the high court denied an emergency motion seeking to bar the governor from making the appointments.
Writing for a unanimous court, Justice Keith Blackwell concurred with the Fulton County Superior Court’s reasoning in a decision handed down Dec. 10.
“The trial court noted that the constitution explicitly authorizes the governor to fill ‘[v]acancies in the courts by appointment … that ‘vacancy’ usually and ordinarily is used to refer to an office that is unoccupied (as the seats … will be when they come into being on January 1, 2016),” Blackwell wrote.
Justice David Nahmias joined Blackwell’s concurrence.
Dave Williams covers Government
***So when you want to recuse a judge, and the judge refuses, we are told “Well you voted them into their positiion”. See they always lie. Since when does the Supreme Courts lie? The judicial circuit in Georgia has blown a fuse. The banks are always right, the Governor has become God, and the people can just go to hell if they don’t like the way things are run.
Either the state gets to vote on the judges or it don’t. Which is it Georgia????