Murphy C. Miller, the son of former governor and U.S. Sen. Zell Miller, was named Tuesday to a new Superior Court judgeship in the Enotah Judicial Circuit.
Miller, 52, was appointed by Gov. Sonny Perdue to what will be the third judgeship in the Enotah circuit, which is comprised of Lumpkin, Towns, Union and White counties. Miller, who is currently the public defender for the circuit, will not take office until Jan. 1.
"The governor called me about 11:30 this morning," Miller said Tuesday. "It was a relief. The anxiety had been building over the past few weeks."
Miller, the eldest of the former senator’s two sons, said his father and mother, Shirley, were both excited when told of the news.
"I told him I wanted to call people (to tell them the news) and he (Zell Miller) told me to wait until the governor makes the announcement. So, I had to sit on my hands for the next three hours," said the younger Miller.
State Rep. Charles Jenkins, D-Blairsville, had not heard the news when reached for comment about Miller’s appointment."That is great," said an exuberant Jenkins. "Murphy is a conscientious fellow with a good heart and is a great community- minded man."Jenkins said the competition for the appointment was steep and included worthy candidates. The other finalists were Steven Leibel, a Dahlonega attorney, and Joy R. Parks, a White
Miller said that he has already spoken with current Superior Court Judges David Barrett and Lynn Alderman and plans to meet with District Attorney Stan Gunter to discuss the disposition of pending cases. Once on the bench, Miller would have to recuse himself from any cases where he was directly involved as defense attorney.
"This is coming at a perfect time for me," said Miller. "My two youngest children are just starting college so this is happening at a great time for me, personally."
Miller earned a bachelor’s degree from Emory University and his law degree from Woodrow Wilson College of Law. He and his wife, Susan, have four children.