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This follows the article which appeared [on your site] on Aug. 25 titled “Diversity Advocates Tensely Hopeful for Gains on Ga. Supreme Court.” I write this in my personal capacity, and not on behalf of my firm or any of its clients.

In my interview for your article, I referred in detail to the process leading up to last year’s appointments to three newly created positions on the Georgia Court of Appeals. Out of over 200 lawyers and judges who were nominated for these positions, 110 applied, and 42 were selected for interviews. The Judicial Nominating Commission ultimately supplied the governor with a short list of 11 recommended candidates for these three positions, including three highly qualified persons of color who were then sitting on various Georgia courts.

I suggested in my interview that this short list had given the governor a good range of choices from which to select a highly qualified candidate of color for one or more of these three positions. I further noted that, for some reason, the governor had chosen not to seize this opportunity and that, as a consequence, representation by persons of color on the Court of Appeals had declined from 25 percent to 20 percent (in a state where people of color comprise nearly 46 percent of the population).

Unfortunately, when the article appeared, it failed to note that I was referring specifically to the governor’s action with respect to last year’s Court of Appeals vacancies. This failure has led to some amount of confusion, as some have apparently misinterpreted my comments as suggesting that Gov. Nathan Deal has made no diverse judicial appointments in the time that he has been in office.

The facts, as I understand them, are somewhat different. A 2015 investigation by Advocacy for Action (a group which I serve as co-convenor) revealed that, of the nine individuals who had been appointed to the appellate courts by Govs. Sonny Perdue and Deal as of the time of the study, two of them (or 22 percent) were persons of color. On the Superior Court level, the AFA study revealed that Gov. Perdue had not appointed any judges of color during his eight years in office, but that Gov.Deal had selected persons of color for less than 9 percent of his judicial appointments.

In evaluating the diversity of any governor’s judicial appointments, the pertinent metric is his overall record. The overall record of diverse judicial appointments by Gov. Deal and his predecessor—together with the specific missed opportunities related to last year’s appointments to the Georgia Court of Appeals—suggests that work remains to be done if Georgia is to have a highly accomplished judiciary which is also representative of all of its people.

Charles Johnson

Atlanta

This follows the article which appeared [on your site] on Aug. 25 titled “Diversity Advocates Tensely Hopeful for Gains on Ga. Supreme Court.” I write this in my personal capacity, and not on behalf of my firm or any of its clients.

In my interview for your article, I referred in detail to the process leading up to last year’s appointments to three newly created positions on the Georgia Court of Appeals. Out of over 200 lawyers and judges who were nominated for these positions, 110 applied, and 42 were selected for interviews. The Judicial Nominating Commission ultimately supplied the governor with a short list of 11 recommended candidates for these three positions, including three highly qualified persons of color who were then sitting on various Georgia courts.

I suggested in my interview that this short list had given the governor a good range of choices from which to select a highly qualified candidate of color for one or more of these three positions. I further noted that, for some reason, the governor had chosen not to seize this opportunity and that, as a consequence, representation by persons of color on the Court of Appeals had declined from 25 percent to 20 percent (in a state where people of color comprise nearly 46 percent of the population).

Unfortunately, when the article appeared, it failed to note that I was referring specifically to the governor’s action with respect to last year’s Court of Appeals vacancies. This failure has led to some amount of confusion, as some have apparently misinterpreted my comments as suggesting that Gov. Nathan Deal has made no diverse judicial appointments in the time that he has been in office.

The facts, as I understand them, are somewhat different. A 2015 investigation by Advocacy for Action (a group which I serve as co-convenor) revealed that, of the nine individuals who had been appointed to the appellate courts by Govs. Sonny Perdue and Deal as of the time of the study, two of them (or 22 percent) were persons of color. On the Superior Court level, the AFA study revealed that Gov. Perdue had not appointed any judges of color during his eight years in office, but that Gov.Deal had selected persons of color for less than 9 percent of his judicial appointments.

In evaluating the diversity of any governor’s judicial appointments, the pertinent metric is his overall record. The overall record of diverse judicial appointments by Gov. Deal and his predecessor—together with the specific missed opportunities related to last year’s appointments to the Georgia Court of Appeals—suggests that work remains to be done if Georgia is to have a highly accomplished judiciary which is also representative of all of its people.

Charles Johnson

Atlanta