Skip to Content

First African-American on the Georgia Supreme Court is set to retire March 1st

Click here for updates on this story

    ATLANTA, GA (WGCL) — An icon on the Georgia Supreme Court bench presided over his last case on the Supreme Court Thursday.

According to a press release, Justice Robert Benham is retiring after nearly 36 years as a judge on the Court of Appeals, and as a justice and chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court.

“I want you to know this man is a fighter,” Chief Justice Harold Melton said, describing Justice Benham as “my friend and colleague” who was the first African-American in history appointed to the state’s highest court.

“This is the best job I ever had,” Justice Benham said. He reminded the newly sworn-in attorneys standing before him that as judges and lawyers, “We are healers. I hope you realize your role as healers.”

Justice Benham made history when he became the first African American appointed to the state’s highest court in its more than 140 years.

A native of Cartersville, GA, he was appointed to the state Supreme Court in December 1989 by Gov. Joe Frank Harris.

Justice Benham’s retirement is effective March 1, and Governor Brian Kemp will appoint his replacement.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

Article Topic Follows: National & World

Jump to comments ↓



KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content