Nathan Deal stocks Georgia’s top courts with 5 new judges

Michael Boggs before being sworn into the Georgia Court of Appeals in 2012 (AJC file)

Michael Boggs before being sworn into the Georgia Court of Appeals in 2012 (AJC file)

Gov. Nathan Deal continued a transformation of the judiciary on Wednesday by tapping three new Georgia Supreme Court justices and two new Georgia Court of Appeals judges.

The governor tapped Court of Appeals Judges Michael Boggs and Nels Peterson and state Solicitor General Britt Grant to the state’s top bench. He selected state Sen. Charlie Bethel, R-Dalton, and Bibb County Superior Court Judge Tripp Self III to replace them.

Deal won approval to expand the Georgia Supreme Court from seven justices to nine earlier this year, and last year he pushed an expansion of the appeals court from 12 to 15 judges. He will appoint a majority of the state’s top bench and more than a quarter of the appeals court by the end of his term.

Grant and Peterson will fill new seats created by the expansion of the court, while Boggs will succeed retiring Justice Hugh Thompson. They were his fourth appointments – he tapped Keith Blackwell to the bench in 2012.

The governor has selected more than 100 attorneys to open judgeships across the state, and he appointed economic development commissioner Chris Carr as the Attorney General in October.

For Boggs, it was a long-awaited promotion. He was nominated as part of a package of judges that Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss negotiated with the White House to fill several vacancies on the federal bench in 2014, but Democrats criticized his vote while in the state House — as a Democrat from Waycross in the early 2000s — to keep the old state flag, featuring the Confederate battle emblem.

Reader Comments 0

5 comments
Monte Poitevint
Monte Poitevint

I don't expect much good news from RINOs. It was a RINO president that gave us the worthless Roberts on the SCOTUS.

Ed Helton
Ed Helton

I think the proper term is, "Stacks" the court.

Gloria Moore
Gloria Moore

All white folks. Did all the African American, Asian and Latino attorneys leave the state of Georgia suddenly? Racism is alive and well in Georgia!

Monte Poitevint
Monte Poitevint

More liberal stupidity. Your views have been discredited and rejected. You have been stripped of all power. Your views are out-dated, from the past. No one listens to your pathetic whining and crying any longer. Find your safe space and cry to yourself. Leave the rest of us alone.