Bench Memos

Governor Deal Appoints Keith Blackwell to Georgia Supreme Court

Congratulations to Keith Blackwell on his appointment to the Georgia Supreme Court. Blackwell, currently a judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals, graduated summa cum laude from Franklin College, served as senior editor of the law review at the University of Georgia School of Law, and clerked for Judge Edmondson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. After clerking, Judge Blackwell distinguished himself in private practice and in several government roles, including service as deputy special attorney general representing Georgia in the Obamacare litigation. He is a longtime member of the the Federalist Society, and has served as president of the Atlanta Lawyers Chapter of the society.  He has been a judge on the Court of Appeals since late 2010, when he was appointed by Governor Perdue along with another conservative standout, Steve Dillard, perhaps better known to court-watchers as “Feddie” from the now-defunct legal blog Southern Appeal.  

Blackwell’s elevation creates a vacancy on the Georgia Court of Appeals.  I suspect Governor Deal will have many highly qualified applicants to choose from, but I hear great things about former Bush administration lawyer Lisa Branch. With candidates like Blackwell, Dillard, and Branch, a future President Romney shouldn’t have to look too hard to fill federal vacancies in Georgia or on the 11th Circuit.  

Kudos to Governor Deal on this excellent choice, and good luck to Justice Blackwell.       

Carrie Severino is chief counsel and policy director to the Judicial Crisis Network.

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