The Supreme Court of Georgia held its first meeting on January 26, 1846 at Talbotton, Georgia.
John Sammons Bell was born on January 26, 1914 in Macon, Georgia. He would go on to serve as Chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia, as a Judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals, and as chief judge of the appellate court. He is today best known as the designer of the state flag featuring the Confederate battle flag, which was adopted by the General Assembly in 1956.
On January 26, 2001 a new state flag, first designed by Atlanta architect Cecil Alexander, passed out of committee in the General Assembly by a 4-3 vote and would be voted on later that week. Click here to view the floor debate from 2001.
The list of aspirants for two DeKalb County judicial seats – one in State Court, one in Superior court — has been whittled from 72 to 25, and interviews by the Judicial Nominations Committee are expected to begin this week. Notable among the 25:
State Representative Mike Jacobs (R-Brookhaven)
Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis
State Senator Ronald Ramsey, Sr. (D-Lithonia)
Former DeKalb County State Court Judge Tony DelCampo
Bob Dallas, who served as Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety under Gov. Sonny Perdue
The Fulton County Daily Report ran an interview with DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Asha Jackson, who discusses her views on accountability courts, the learning curve for a new judge, and diversity on the bench.
The Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit is often the example pointed to by groups who say there should be more diversity among judicial appointees—and those who defend the Deal administration’s recent picks. That’s because the State and Superior courts are among the most diverse in Georgia.
DeKalb County Superior Court has four black female judges, two white female judges, two white male judges, and two black male judges. The circuit also included the state’s first Latino (Tony DelCampo) and Asian-American (Alvin Wong) state court judges. (Delcampo left the State Court bench in 2011 but has applied for reappointment.)
Jackson said she believes diversity on the bench is important. When the makeup of judges reflects the population, there is inherently more trust in the judicial system, she said.
“But that can mean any number of things,” she said. Race. Gender. Socioeconomic status. Even life experience.
Jackson bristles at the suggestion that diversity is a second-tier consideration and not a primary qualification for being a judge.
“I hear people say, ‘I don’t know if we should sacrifice the quality of a candidate to make sure the bench is diverse.’ The very nature of being a diverse candidate is in and of itself a qualification,” she said. “There is a unique experience that comes along with being a woman or an Asian-American or an African-American or a white American.”
As a DeKalb County resident, I would argue that diversity on the bench might be improved with a Jewish member of the bench. After all, Atlanta is home to one of the nation’s largest Jewish communities and DeKalb hosts a number of congregations and a large number of the state’s Jewish citizens. As a constituent and former consultant to State Rep. Jacobs, if anyone asked my opinion, I’d say he would be a great fit for the bench, though I haven’t spoken to him about the current vacancies and haven’t been his consultant for more than a year.
As a bonus, it would open at least one special election, potentially creating a Christmas (or Hanukkah, if you will) in March or June for folks like me.Continue Reading..