Have you ever gotten to the end of your ballot while voting and had no idea who any of the judicial candidates were? If so, you are not alone. For most people, voting for a judge is a shot in the dark since the judicial elections are nonpartisan, there are no debates, and little campaigning.
You can get an idea by looking at a sample ballot before going to the polls. You can get a sample ballot for your precinct by visiting the website of the Secretary of State: http://sos.georgia.gov/mvp/. The sample ballot contains the names and websites, if any, of the candidates.
One of the most striking ways to differ between judicial candidates is through their judicial philosophy. Generally, judges either fall into one of two camps. Judicial activists, who bring their own opinions and experiences to the bench, or strict constructionists, who rule based on the law as it is written and focus on the intent of legislature.
In spite of the low key nature of the judicial campaigns, voting for a judge is important. As we have seen in recent months and years, judges can overturn popular laws and policies on dubious grounds and shape our nation and state with little accountability. Georgia’s voter ID law, gay marriage and the upcoming legal battle over Obamacare are just a few recent examples.
Candidates for Supreme Court:
David Nahmias is the incumbent. You can view his website at: www.justicenahmias.com. You can also view his biography on the Supreme Court website: http://www.gasupreme.us/biographies/nahmias.php. Nahmias is a former US Attorney nominated by George W. Bush who received numerous commendations for his service. He states that his judicial philosophy is that “if judges do not like a law, they can vote to change it at the ballot box, like their fellow citizens, but they should not try to change it with judicial decrees”.
Matt Wilson is a practicing attorney from Atlanta. His website is: http://wilsonforsupremecourt.com/. He states that his judicial philosophy is “to uphold and defend the Constitutions of this State and of our United States, to listen courteously to all parties and all arguments, to fairly and impartially decide cases presented on the basis of the evidence and our laws, while always protecting our civil and Constitutional rights”. He criticizes Justice Nahmias for decisions that “elevate Corporate and Government Interests over Individual Rights”.
Tammy Lynn Adkins is an attorney with no address or website given.
Stay tuned for profiles of Appeals Court Candidates.