Updated: Apr 28, 2020
ATLANTA, GA – Secretary of State Brad Raffesnperger may be preventing Georgia voters from being able to decide who will be next to serve on the Georgia Supreme Court, according to an Amicus Brief filed in the Supreme Court of Georgia.
Fair Fight Action, Inc., The Urban League of Greater Atlanta, Inc. and Georgia NAACP’s brief is in support of John Barrow and explains how the Secretary of State’s decision of refusing to allow the voters to fill the vacated seat of Associate Justice Keith R. Blackwell on the Georgia Supreme Court contradicts his legal and constitutional authority to do so. “A decision that affirms the actions of Secretary Raffensperger in this election would endorse the disenfranchisement of every Georgia voter,” says Rev. James Woodall, State President of the Georgia NAACP.
If Justice Blackwell desired to run for reelection for the Court, he would have had to qualify and run in the nonpartisan general election which is now scheduled for June 6, 2020. However, he sent a letter to Governor Brian Kemp on February 26, 2020 expressing his intent to resign effective November 18, 2020. Based on Justice Blackwell’s letter and Governor Kemp’s statement of intent to fill the office by appointment, Secretary Raffensperger responded by cancelling qualification for that seat and instructing his staff to not accept qualification fees or notices of candidacy from anyone on March 1, 2020. Barrow was unable to qualify for the contest when he attempted to run for the seat in person on March 2, 2020. Barrow filed a Petition for Writ of Mandamus with the Fulton County Superior Court on March 5, 2020 but it was dismissed on March 16, 2020.
On March 18, 2020, Barrow then filed a Writ of Mandamus with the Supreme Court of Georgia. It was granted in part and dismissed in part on March 23, 2020 and the appeal was docketed.“This appeal and this brief intends to reverse the Fulton County Superior Court’s decision and ultimately grant the voters their Constitutional obligation to elect a diverse and representative judiciary,” Rev. Woodall concluded.
The Brief of Amici was filed by Hanrahan Freitag Family Law LLC and the appeal is ready for the Court’s consideration.
About Georgia NAACP
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has had an unbroken presence in Georgia since 1917. The Georgia NAACP maintains a network of branches throughout Georgia, from cities to small rural counties. The Georgia NAACP has been the most effective and consistent advocates for African American civil rights in Georgia. You can read more about the Georgia NAACP's work and mission at naacpga.org.