If you haven’t already done so, please vote in today’s election. Polls close at 7:00 p.m. this evening. I voted at 8:00 a.m. this morning, and the woman at my precinct told me that I was only the fifth voter to darken their doors. This is a very important election, and much is at stake. If you are a lawyer, then you know why this election is important. If you have less experience in Georgia Courts, let me tell you a little more about why this election is important.
- Our appellate courts make decision on individual cases that shape the way future cases are decided. Most decisions that come out of our Supreme Court and Court of Appeals become the law in terms of how we interpret our the United States Constitution, Georgia Constitution and Georgia statute. Though the governor’s office and the legistlature get the bulk of the attention, much power is placed in the hands of our appellate judges. An individual appellate judge is arguably more powerful than an individual state senator.
- The Supreme Court is ultimately responsible for regulating attorney discipline in the State of Georgia. The Georgia bar is self-regulated, but decisions on how or whether to discipline lawyers are left in the hands of the justices on the Supreme Court, with the hard work and assistance of lawyers who work for the State Bar of Georgia. It is important to put the best person for the job in that office.
- Finally, though many people will never end up in court, I meet with many moms, dads, uncles, brothers, spouses, sons, and daughters who are good “regular people.” They come to me because they have found themselves supporting a loved one who has been convicted of a crime or who has some other type of matter pending before our appellate courts. If you get sick and require the assistance of a specialist in the medical field, you have some choice in your doctor. When you appear in front of a judge, the moment to choose has already passed.
- “The people get the government they deserve.” Alexis de Tocqueville is credited with saying it, but he more likely source is Joseph de Maistre. It rings true.
I’ve shared with you in previous blogs my choice for the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. I’ve also shared resources with you where you can read up on the candidates. Even if you think my choices are way off base and you are going to vote the other way, please vote today. This election is just as important as any other election. And these offices deserve the involvement of the people.