Georgia Supreme Court Justice Pulls Out…

…Of his scheduled appearance at the swearing-in ceremony for the officers of the Rockdale County Democratic Party.

Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham has canceled a Saturday visit to Conyers to swear in new officers with the Rockdale Democratic Party.

[State Sen. John]Douglas (R – Social Circle) said he received a phone call from Benham Wednesday afternoon, and the justice agreed to cancel his visit.

“I think it’s clearly the best course of action for him, that he stay above the political battles,” Douglas said. “He told me on the phone that he did not realize it was a swearing-in for a political party and had he known that, he would have declined from the beginning.”

Benham was to swear-in the party’s new chairwoman, Ruth Wilson, along with several other new officers.

Source: 11/9/2007 Newton [County] Citizen article “Justice cancels visit to Conyers”

You’ll remember that last week I asked the question, “Should Supreme Court Justices officiate at political party events?”

I’m not sure if there’s a clear answer to that question, but I think Justice Benham made the appropriate decision not to officiate at the event. Democrat or Republican, it makes me uneasy to have nonpartisan judges taking a formal role at partisan events.


  1. Chris says:

    I think after the 2006 Supreme Court election, we should get rid of the falicy of non-partisan judicial elections.

    I’d like my judges to be non-partisan, but the only way your gonna accomplish that is through draconian campaign finance rules which are worse than the problem you’re trying to solve. Better to have them identify themselves and drop the charade.

  2. Andre Walker says:

    No, no, no, Rogue109,

    In my view, the most influential contributors to Peach Pundit are the City Councilman-elect from the great City of Macon, Erick Erickson, and that great Georgia Libertarian, Jason Pye.

    Compared to those two, I’m proud to say that I’m pimento loaf to their prime rib.

  3. Doug Deal says:

    Ohio has partisan elections for all levels of court, and I do not think their system is harmed by it.

    I would rather all things be non-partisan, and that people would just go on what they thought was best for the country/state/locality but instead people want to play for teams (both voters and candidates), and care only about if their side won or lost.

    Because of that, I think it would be better if people were forced to declare their allegiance so at least everyone knows what team they play for.

  4. StevePerkins says:

    When this issue first came up here, I pointed out that the Justice technically wouldn’t be doing anything wrong. However, I just did a double-take reading the (heresy) quote that the Justice “didn’t realize it was a swearing in for a political party”. What could he possibly have thought it was for?

  5. Bill Simon says:

    Why do the Dems have their intra-party officers “swear” an oath to their position?

    Are they swearing to the Communist Manifesto? That would make sense, actually… 🙂

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