Created: Thu, 15 Aug 2013 04:44:00 EST
Updated: Fri, 16 Aug 2013 12:52:31 EST
Hugh P. Thompson of Milledgeville was sworn in Thursday as the 30th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia.
“Today I pledge to all of you that as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia, I will not waiver in my commitment to lead the judicial branch with fairness and integrity,” Thompson said.
“Judge Thompson is someone who will always do what’s right; he won’t legislate through his decisions,” said U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, who introduced the new Chief Justice to a crowd of more than 550 people.
P. Harris Hines was also sworn in as the high court’s new Presiding Justice, stepping into Thompson’s former role.
Attending the historic event were Gov. Nathan Deal, former governors Zell Miller and Roy Barnes, and all six living former Chief Justices. Miller, who appointed both Thompson and Hines to the court, administered the oath of office.
Thompson and Hines were unanimously elected in May by their colleagues on the seven-member court.
The state’s Chief Justice presides over Georgia’s judicial branch and is the main spokesperson for the Court, as well as for the entire judiciary. The Presiding Justice serves in his absence.
The Chief Justice, who serves one 4-year term, also chairs the Georgia Judicial Council, which governs all levels of the state’s courts.
Thompson was Chief Judge of the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit when Miller appointed him in 1994 to the Georgia Supreme Court. Hines served as Superior Court Judge of the Cobb Judicial Circuit for more than 12 years before Miller appointed him to the state Supreme Court in 1995.