The Judicial Nominating Commission will interview 18 candidates Tuesday for two open seats on the Fulton County Superior Court.
The seats, to be filled by Gov. Nathan Deal in his last two weeks in office, came open with the announcement that Judge John Goger would retire and Deal’s elevation of Judge Todd Markle to the Court of Appeals.
Pete Robinson, chairman of the Judicial Nominating Commission, released the interview schedule, which shows each candidate will meet with the panel for 10 minutes. The interviews will occur after the commission hears from any interest groups that have something to say, according to the schedule.
The candidates who will be interviewed are: Kent Altom, JaDawnya Baker, Beth Beskin, Rachelle Carnesale, Audra Dial, Meagan Hanson, Thomas Kemp, Cassandra Kirk, Rachel Krause, Melynee Leftridge, Greg Michell, Shalanda Miller, Richard Moultrie, Ashley Osby, Allyson Pitts, Emily Richardson, Debbie-Ann Rickman and Bobby Wolf.
Diversity advocates have said Deal should have appointed more minorities and women to the courts during his nearly eight years in office. Tapping Markle to the appeals court was Deal’s 21st appointment to the two highest state courts—the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. Of those, 19 went to white people, 15 to men.
As a result of those choices, representation of African-Americans and women at the state Supreme Court will have fallen when Deal leaves office. African-American influence on the Court of Appeals has also fallen, but the number of women has risen at the Court of Appeals.
Without Markle and Goger—both white men—the Fulton County Superior Court bench has 18 members. Ten are white and eight are black. Eight are male, and 10 are female.