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4 nominated for North Ga. judicial posts

POSTED: December 21, 2013 12:02 a.m.

President Barack Obama has nominated four judges and attorneys to serve in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, White House officials said Thursday.

Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Michael P. Boggs, Atlanta attorneys, Mark Howard Cohen and Leigh Martin May, and DeKalb County State Court Judge Eleanor Louise Ross have each been nominated to serve in federal court.

Gainesville serves as one of four regional divisions for the Northern District, with a federal court building opposite the Hall County Courthouse on Spring Street.

There isn’t a set determination as to which judge would serve in Gainesville, which sees cases from 16 counties, including Dawson, Habersham, Hall and White.

A court official said that each of the judges have offices in Atlanta, working cases at divisions in Atlanta, Gainesville, Newnan and Rome as needed. Senior Judge William O’Kelley makes case assignments.

The nominations included four out of eight U.S. District Court recommendations. Three seats have been vacant in the Northern District since January, with one vacancy as far back as February 2009.

The fourth appointment was prompted by Obama’s announcement that U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Georgia, Julie E. Carnes, has been nominated to serve in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Carnes, appointed by former President George H.W. Bush, has served as a federal judge in Georgia since 1992, and has been the District Court’s chief judge since 2009.

The nominations will now be considered by the Senate, where rules have allowed nominees to advance by a simple majority since Democrats’ use of the so-called “nuclear option” to change the filibuster rule in November.

Staff writer Emma Witman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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