This Friday, Jan. 6, P. Harris Hines will be sworn in by Gov. Nathan Deal as the 31st Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia. The governor will also swear in Harold D. Melton as the new Presiding Justice. The investiture will take place at 11:00 a.m. at the Capitol in the House Chamber.
A host of dignitaries, including five former Chief Justices, are expected to attend. Former U.S. Congressman W. “Buddy” Darden, Marietta Mayor Steve “Thunder” Tumlin and Patrick O’Connor, president of the State Bar of Georgia, as well as a number of judges, will also be in attendance.
The Chief Justice is the head of Georgia’s judicial branch of government. He presides over oral arguments and is the spokesman for Georgia’s highest court. The Presiding Justice fills in for the Chief Justice when necessary. Both are elected to the positions by their fellow justices and serve a four-year term.
This Monday, Jan. 9, Chief Justice Hines will preside over oral arguments with a new Supreme Court that for the first time will include nine justices, recently expanded from seven.