Blackmon nominated for state's top courtFrom Staff Reports
Coweta Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Dennis Blackmon has been nominated to fill a vacancy on the Georgia Supreme Court.
The vacancy is being created by the retirement of Justice George H. Carley.
If chosen, Blackmon will be the first judge from this area to be appointed to Georgia’s highest court.
Gov. Deal will also be appointing someone to fill the Coweta Circuit Superior Court judgeship vacated by William F. Lee Jr., who retired May 1 following an investigation by the Judicial Qualifications Commission. According to the Judicial Qualification Commission, the investigation was concluded “with a mutually agreed upon disposition” that hinged on Lee’s retirement.
Whoever is appointed to Lee’s seat on the bench will serve two and a half years, and will stand for reelection in 2014.
The nomination process for those seeking to fill Lee’s seat was recently extended to May 29. After nominations close, the Judicial Nominating Commission will interview candidates and put together a short list of candidates from which the governor may choose.
There have been quite a few nominations submitted, including the names of Kevin McMurry and Emory Palmer, who are currently running for the seat on the bench currently held by Allen Keeble, who is retiring.
If Blackmon is named to the Georgia Supreme Court, Deal will have another appointment to make. That person would also serve through 2014.
Blackmon has been a superior court judge for almost eight years. He has presided over all types of cases, including hundreds of criminal matters, jury trials, and contested divorces.
Prior to his election in 2004, Blackmon was a prosecutor, a public defender, and a private attorney. He appeared on behalf of clients in juvenile court, probate court, state court, superior court and federal district court.
In 2000, Blackmon was appointed associate magistrate judge, judge of Carrolton’s city court, and Carroll County Drug Court judge.
A 1978 graduate of Carrollton High School, Judge Blackmon still holds that school’s track and field records for the mile, two mile, two mile relay, and distance medley. He joined the United States Air Force and flew aboard the E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft. During his eight year military career, he served in Al Eskon Village, Saudi Arabia, during Desert Storm, conducting air battle management, surveillance, refueling, and target acquisition and destruction. Additionally, Blackmon controlled the crowded air traffic above Panama during the capture of Manual Noriega, conducted drug surveillance and interdiction, and tracked Soviet bombers while serving in Iceland.
After returning to Carrollton, Blackmon served on the boards of the Rape Crisis Center and the Carroll County Domestic Violence Shelter, as chairman of the Planning and Zoning Board for the City of Carrollton, and as an elder of the Carrollton Presbyterian Church.
Elected twice to the Superior Court bench, Judge Blackmon increased the number of participants in the Carroll County Drug Court, and helped expand the drug court program to the entire circuit. In November 2011, Blackmon issued an order in the case of Phillips v. U.S. Bank that set off a flurry of internet conversations about the role of government, the courts, and mega-banks.
Afterwards, Blackmon received mail from as far away as New Zealand, commenting about the colorful language in his order. This January, “Consumer Reports” magazine quoted from Blackmon’s order.