State of Justice Address
The Georgia General Assembly heard from Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court David E. Nahmias on the state of justice. He pointed to the lessons learned during the pandemic and warned that the justice system needs to catch up on its case backlog.
ATLANTA – Chief Justice David E. Nahmias announced Friday that he would step down from the Georgia Supreme Court this summer.
The chief justice, who was appointed to the state’s Supreme Court in August 2009 by then-Governor Sonny Perdue, said he would step down effective July 17, the last day of the court’s next term. That’s a little over a year after Gov. Brian Kemp elevated Nahmais to the state attorney general’s office.
The chief justice personally presented the governor with his letter of resignation on Friday.
“I believe I have helped make Georgia’s decision making clearer, more consistent, and truer to the text and original understanding of our state’s constitution and statutes,” he wrote.
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Chief Justice Nahmias has served the state’s highest court for the past 12 years, authoring more than 470 opinions, joining more than 2,700 others, writing 27 volumes of the Georgia Reports and being re-elected twice.
In his letter, Chief Justice Nahmias said that “after several months of thought and prayer” he has decided to spend more time with his family, including his new fiancé and his children, one of whom will start college this fall and fall -Playing football others of which will be a rising junior in high school. He has not yet decided what further path his legal career will take.
Prior to serving on the state’s highest court, Nahmias was a prosecutor for 15 years.
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Nahmias is an Atlanta native who was born to immigrants from Egypt and Germany. He graduated from Briarcliff High School in DeKalb County, where he was the state’s 1982 STAR student, and then attended Duke University, where he graduated second in his class and summa cum laude, and Harvard Law School, where he received his magna Graduated cum laude and served on the law. Nahmias then served as clerk for Justice Laurence H. Silberman of the US Circuit Court for the District of Columbia and Justice Antonin Scalia of the US Supreme Court.
After a stint as an attorney at the Hogan & Hartson law firm in Washington DC, the current Chief Justice became US Attorney in 1995 and initially handled a series of armed robbery, firearms, arson and explosives cases, including his involvement in the centennial bombing of the Olympic Park and helped ultimately frame Eric Rudolph for the crime.
Nahmias then moved to prosecuting corruption and successfully prosecuted a Georgia State Senator on corruption charges and investigated public corruption allegations in the city of Atlanta and in the Fulton County government.
Following the September 11 attacks, Nahmias focused on terrorism, having prosecuted and overseen many high-profile cases, and as a senior Justice Department official in Washington, overseeing terrorism cases.
In 2003, he was appointed Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division, where he worked on counterterrorism and fraud, particularly on the Enron Task Force.
Nahmias was nominated by President George W. Bush to be the US Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia in 2004, where his expertise in terrorism, national security and white-collar crime has served on several advisory committees.
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Nahmias points to some of the accomplishments of his time as a Georgia Supreme Court Justice as Chair of the Georgia Judiciary Council, Chair of the Chief Justice’s Professionalism Commission, Chair of the Court’s Children’s Courts Committee, and liaison Justice for Uniform Court Rules. He also worked to improve judicial ethics and the disciplinary system in Georgia, serving for many years as the liaison judiciary for the Judicial Qualifications Commission and overseeing a major revision of the Georgia Code of Judicial Conduct and the Commission’s rules.
Last week, the Chief Justice delivered his final State of the Judiciary Address before the Georgia General Assembly, in which he highlighted some of the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic and advocated helping courts to catch up on the backlog it caused cases to end .
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