Hall County Superior Court Judge Jason Deal said Tuesday he would withdraw his name from consideration for a Georgia Supreme Court seat to avoid “allegations of political favoritism.”
Deal penned the letter Tuesday, July 31, to the commission’s chairman, Pete Robinson.
The nominating commission received 101 nominations for the Supreme Court’s vacancy created by Chief Justice P. Harris Hines’ retirement.
On Tuesday, July 31, Justice Britt Grant was confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
“It would be my honor to serve on the Georgia Supreme Court, and my experience and qualifications would equip me to do so well. However, my nomination could put the JNC at risk for allegations of political favoritism. Similar allegations would be leveled at my father if he considered me for the position. I would not put either the JNC or my father in that position,” Jason Deal wrote in his letter.
The nominating commission submitted its short list Wednesday, Aug. 1, to Gov. Nathan Deal’s office, which included six judges from the Stone Mountain, Tifton, Cobb and Atlanta judicial circuits.
State Rep. Andy Welch, R-McDonough, Sen. Bill Cowsert, R-Athens, and Georgia Solicitor General Sarah Warren were also on the recommended candidate list.
In the judge’s letter, Deal said he intended to withdraw his name since being nominated but wanted the “experience of going through the process of completing an application and interviewing with the JNC.”
“I hope you will see fit to forgive this one vanity,” Jason Deal wrote.
The judges nominated are J.P. Boulee, Melanie Cross, Asha Jackson, C. LaTain Kell, Shawn Ellen LaGrua and Paige Reese Whitaker.