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Georgia’s First Black Supreme Court Justice To Step Down After Serving Nearly Three Decades

An election to determine his successor will be held May 2020.

By Vinciane Ngomsi, Blavity

After thirty years of serving as the first Black supreme court justice in the state of Georgia, Justice Robert Benham announced recently he would step down from his post next year.

Benham, 72, was appointed to serve in the state’s supreme court in December 1989 by then-Governor Joe Frank Harris, according to The Philadelphia Tribune. A graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law, Benham hinted he would be departing after this current term since he would have reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 during his next term.

“Justice Benham has been a steady force behind this court,” Chief Justice Harold Melton said in a statement obtained by The Atlanta Business Chronicle. “As a jurist, he has been unwavering in his commitment to ensuring that all people have equal access to the courts. As a man, he is the embodiment of justice and mercy. He is one of those who manages to bring the best out of people.”

Per The Philadelphia Tribune, Benham’s successor will be determined in an election scheduled to take place in May 2020.

This article originally appeared in Blavity.

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