Atlanta, Nov. 6, 2019 – It is the end of an era for the Supreme Court of Georgia, which on Thursday, Nov. 7, will close the doors to its courtroom where it has held oral arguments for more than 60 years. To mark the last session of court in the Judicial Building on Capitol Square, Justice Robert Benham – the longest-serving justice on the court – will make special remarks at the beginning of oral arguments. The event will be live-streamed on the court’s website at www.gasupreme.us.
On Wednesday, Chief Justice Harold D. Melton reflected on the history that has played out since the courtroom was dedicated on June 11, 1956. Since then, the Georgia Supreme Court has gone from being a court of all white men to having the first African American – Justice Benham – and the first woman – Leah Ward Sears – appointed to its bench. “We have grown to understand that individual rights really do belong to all individuals,” Chief Justice Melton said at the beginning of oral arguments. “This building has challenged our Court and our State to grow, to be better, to make our constitutions real and meaningful.”
“To this old building, we are grateful. It has done its job. It has served us well.”
Next month, the state’s highest court is due to move into the new Nathan Deal Judicial Center at 330 Capitol Avenue, S.E. – the first state building dedicated solely to the judiciary. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hold its first session in the new building on Jan. 14, 2020.