Judge Julie Carnes
Judge Julie Carnes (John Disney/Daily Report)

Julie Carnes made her departure as the Northern District of Georgia’s chief judge official last week when she was sworn in during a private ceremony as the newest circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta, according to court executives.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash Jr. replaced Carnes as the district’s chief judge, said District Court Executive James Hatten.

The judges and staff of the Northern District will bid a formal farewell to Carnes in an Aug. 14 ceremony. But Carnes will continue to preside over cases in the Northern District until mid-August by special designation, Hatten said.

On Monday, Carnes was on the district court bench in her old courtroom to sentence nearly a dozen former law enforcement officers who had pleaded guilty to charges that they acted as informants and provided security—often while wearing their uniforms and driving patrol cars—to local drug dealers.

President Barack Obama signed Carnes’ commission on Thursday, 10 days after the U.S. Senate confirmed her 94-0 for the post. Carnes was sworn in by Senior Circuit Judge J.L. Edmondson at the Eleventh Circuit on Thursday afternoon at a private ceremony attended by her husband and daughter, Circuit Executive Jim Gerstenlauer said Monday. A public investiture is planned but not yet scheduled, he said.

Obama nominated Carnes to the appeals court bench in December. Appointed to the district court by President George H.W. Bush, Carnes had been chief judge since 2009.

Hatten said that Thrash—who was appointed to the bench by President Bill Clinton in 1997—inherited the chief’s post as the judge on the Northern District bench with the most seniority who has not taken senior status.