Scrutinizing the Court of Appeals finalists: Your chance
3:43 pm, December 20th, 2012
Given yet another chance to shape the state’s appellate courts, Governor Nathan Deal has three resumes on his desk: those of Dougherty County Superior Court Judge Stephen Goss, Fayette County State Court Judge Carla Wong McMillian and Tift County State Court Judge Larry Mims. That’s the shortlist Deal’s Judicial Nominating Commission gave him last week for filling a vacancy on the state Court of Appeals.
Want to handicap Deal’s choices? Or perhaps weigh in yourself with some unsolicited opinions? Here’s some more information, found in the application packets the candidates submitted to the JNC, with a few personal details redacted by the Daily Report:
- Goss says the Dougherty Superior Court mental health and substance abuse treatment program that he founded and presides over was the first felony mental health court program in Georgia. He presided over a murder case tried twice in 2003; the first trial resulted in a hung jury, and the second, covered in its entirety by Court TV, resulted in an acquittal.
- McMillian was once valedictorian at the Westminster Schools of Augusta. She says that as a state appeals court judge she would advocate the use of unpublished opinions “to decide routine appeals and resolve cases without the danger of inadvertently creating unintended precedent.”
- Prior to becoming a prosecutor and then a judge, Mims represented indigent criminal defendants under a contract with Tift County. A two-time unsuccessful candidate for county school board in the 1980s, Mims also was associate counsel and lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit challenging at-large election procedures in the county. The settlement of that case resulted in the county adopting single-member districts for county commission and school board posts.