The United States Supreme Court isn't the only judicial body that Republican lawmakers are willing to tamper with, if some recent developments in Georgia are to be any indication.
Georgia's state constitution dictates that judges must be elected by the people. For decades, the Georgia Supreme Court has sidestepped this rule with a tradition that Justices step down from their posts before the end of their term—allowing the governor to pick a replacement who—after serving a couple of years—will be up for election with an incumbent advantage.
No sitting incumbent has ever been defeated in Georgia's state Supreme Court elections.
Now, the governor's interference with the process is becoming even more blatant with the announcement that Georgia Supreme Court Justice Keith Blackwell will leave his post six weeks before the conclusion of his term in order to pursue private practice.
Blackwell was already up for reelection, but rather than let his opponents remain on the ballot, Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp along with Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger cancelled the election, which was slated for May 19. This allows Kemp to appoint a new Supreme Court Justice who won't face reelection for at least two years.
Two of the candidates who planned to run against Blackwell have since filed a writ of mandamus urging Secretary Raffensperger to hold the election.
People are outraged at Governor Kemp's corruption.
He’s at it again! Now he is selling judge’s seats! Will the madness ever stop? OPINION: Kemp and Company riggin… https://t.co/KkidOnCQcn— Diane Wadley (@Diane Wadley)1583773603.0
The F'ER is striking again!! Georgia's governor cancels Supreme Court election #Topbuzz https://t.co/mZHHNirO6U— BJ Doucet (@BJ Doucet)1584107082.0
I cannot explain how far alarm bad this is. If you live in Georgia, DO NOT allow Kemp to have this happen, he wan… https://t.co/zuChFNj2fN— King Williams (@King Williams)1584070504.0
This is outrageous. Why isn't there more coverage @bluestein: a coordinated effort to eliminate an election, and pr… https://t.co/uxPdhJ1Utv— Nancy Wallace (@Nancy Wallace)1584018361.0
Kemp earned the ire of the nation in 2018 when he used his power as then-Secretary of State to suppress voters in the Georgia gubernatorial race, giving him enough advantage over Democrat Stacey Abrams to claim a narrow victory.
This type of behavior is practically Kemp's M.O.
@leedrutman The same Brian Kemp who got himself elected governor while Georgia Secretary of State overseeing massiv… https://t.co/TG9LXIHKSi— Flatten the curve, not the webrant🍑🌿 (@Flatten the curve, not the webrant🍑🌿)1584053950.0
Legitimate voters, mostly minorities, purged by then Secretary of State Brian Kemp - just one of his Jim Crow tacti… https://t.co/fqn4LphCvX— Gary Ray Betz (@Gary Ray Betz)1584040517.0
Under Brian Kemp Georgia purged 1.4 million voters, put 53,000 registrations on hold, closed 214 polling places & h… https://t.co/w7HY7LQA18— Ari Berman (@Ari Berman)1558105272.0
It looks like he's ready to repeat the pattern.