Georgia House Backs Expansion of State Supreme Court

Georgia Supremem Court
Posted at 1:55 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 13:55:00-05

ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia House has approved Gov. Nathan Deal's proposal to add two justices to the state's Supreme Court.

Georgia's Constitution permits up to nine justices; state law currently provides for seven justices.

The measure now will be reviewed by the state Senate.

Under the bill, Deal would appoint the new justices, who would serve through the end of 2018. Justices then run in nonpartisan elections for six-year terms.

Georgia's constitution requires Supreme Court justices to retire by age 75 or risk retirement benefits. Two sitting justices will turn 75 before the end of Deal's second and final term, according to a Supreme Court spokeswoman.

If Deal's proposal becomes law, the Republican could appoint a total of four justices to the court in the next two years before leaving office.