Slideshow: Georgia’s Judicial Appointments Skew Heavily White and Male

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A check of Georgia’s judicial appointments reveals that, halfway through 2022, Gov. Brian Kemp’s judge selections sway heavily white and male. The governor’s rate of diverse appointments tracks on trend, with minorities accounting for 29% of active and 14% of senior judicial appointments, as of June 30.

According to Kemp’s executive orders and press releases, he’s made 14 judicial appointments to vacant and newly created state court or higher judgments to date in 2022. He also has appointed seven retired Georgia judges as senior judges, who may preside throughout the state.

Scroll through the slideshow to see who Kemp has appointed to various judicial circuits throughout Georgia during the first half of the year.

Per Georgia’s Administrative Office of the Courts, the following six appointees have not yet been sworn into their new roles: current Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Andrew Pinson, Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit Judge Ben Land, Muscogee County State Court Judge Benjamin Richardson, Huff, Powell & Bailey litigator Pythias “Pete” Temesgen, Georgia Bureau of Investigations Director Vic Reynolds and Deputy Attorney General Julie Adams Jacobs.

gov. Kemp’s 2022 Judicial Appointments

On June 30, 2022, Gov. Brian Kemp appointed Angela O’Conor judge of the newly created State Court of Paulding County.

On June 24, 2022, Gov. Brian Kemp announced the appointment of Vic Reynolds to the Cobb Judicial Circuit Superior Court to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge C. LaTain Kell.

On June 24, 2022, Gov. Brian Kemp announced the appointment of Julie Adams Jacobs to the Cobb Judicial Circuit Superior Court to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Mary Staley Clark.

On June 22, 2022, Gov. Brian Kemp appointed Stephen R. Yekel as judge of the State Court of Effingham County’s newly created seat.

On March 16, 2022, Gov. Brian Kemp appointed Deah B. Warren as superior court judge of the Douglas Judicial Circuit to fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Chief Judge David T. Emerson.

On Feb. 14, 2022, Gov. Brian Kemp announced the appointment of Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Andrew Pinson to the Supreme Court of Georgia to fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Chief Justice David E. Nahmias.

On Feb. 14, 2022, Gov. Brian Kemp announced the appointment of Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit Judge Ben Land to the Georgia Court of Appeals to fill the vacancy on the Georgia Court of Appeals created by the appointment of Judge Andrew Pinson to the Supreme Court of Georgia.

On Feb. 14, 2022, Gov. Brian Kemp announced the appointment of Muscogee State Court Judge Benjamin Richardson to fill the vacancy on the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit Superior Court created by Judge Ben Land’s ascension to the Georgia Court of Appeals.

On March 24, 2022, Gov. Brian Kemp appointed John T. Martin Sr. as superior court judge of the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit to fill the vacancy created by Judge William Rumer’s retirement. Kemp first announced the appointment on Feb. 14, 2022.

On June 22, 2022, Gov. Brian Kemp announced the appointment of Pythias “Pete” Temesgen as judge of the State Court of Muscogee County to fill the vacancy created by the appointment of Judge Benjamin Richardson to the Superior Court of the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit.

On Jan. 18, 2022, Gov. Brian Kemp announced the appointment of Richard Read as judge of the State Court of Rockdale County’s newly created seat.

On Jan. 18, 2022, Gov. Brian Kemp announced the appointment of Charles E. Bailey as judge of the State Court of DeKalb County, Traffic Division, to fill a vacancy created by the appointment of Judge Kimberly Alexander to DeKalb County State Court, Jury Division.

On Jan. 18, 2022, Gov. Brian Kemp announced the appointment of Ana Maria Martinez as judge of the State Court of DeKalb County, Jury Division, to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Dax Lopez.

On Jan. 18, 2022, Gov. Brian Kemp announced the appointment of Ronald K. Thompson as superior court judge of the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit’s newly created seat.

New Judges

Of the 14 publicized judicial appointments, 71% or 10 judgments went to white jurists, with eight of them being men. Various appointments including two Black men, one Black woman and one Hispanic woman made up 29% of Kemp’s judicial appointments made so far this year.

With 10 of the 14 appointed jurists being men, women accounted for 29% of the judges handpicked by the governor.

However, disparities regarding the court levels to which minorities are appointed continue to exist. Of the two appellate appointments Kemp made, both are white men.

Meanwhile, at the superior and state court levels, minorities accounted for a third of Kemp’s appointments. In addition to appointing a Black woman to the Douglas Judicial Circuit Superior Court, Kemp’s elevation of a Black man to the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit Superior Court signed progress. It’s the first time the governor hath appointed a Black man to an active judgment at a higher level than state court. Four of the six remaining superior court appointments made by Kemp in 2022 have gone to white jurists.

Kemp’s selection of a Black man to the Muscogee County State Court and Hispanic woman to the DeKalb County State Court Jury Division accounted for two of six state court appointments this year. The remaining four appointments went to white judges.

Senior Appointments

Halfway through the year, Kemp also appointed seven senior judges. Compared to the active judge selections, the senior appointments skew more female at 57%, but far less ethnically diverse.

gov. Kemp’s 2022 Senior Judicial Appointments

Of the seven appointed senior judges, all but one are white.

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