Doug Chalmers Comments on Suit Over Gov. Deal’s Judgeship Appointments

Doug Chalmers, managing member of Chalmers Pak & Burch LLC, was quoted in a November 19 Daily Report article about the lawsuit challenging Gov. Nathan Deal’s authority to appoint three new judgeships on the Georgia Court of Appeals.

Chalmers was critical of the suit, commenting that the pertinent provision in the state constitution is the one that says judicial vacancies shall be filled by the governor. He felt that the plaintiffs are overlooking the “or otherwise” language that he said gives the governor broad powers.

“There is … nothing in the constitution that requires that an election be held to fill … newly created [judicial] positions,” said Chalmers. “The complaint’s fundamental premise, that all judicial positions must be filled by election rather than appointment, also contradicts [the provision that] authorizes the governor to appoint members of the judiciary to fill vacancies. When the positions formally come into existence in January, they will presumably initially be vacant, and under the constitution, the governor has authority to fill such vacancies by appointment.”

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