ATLANTA, GA (WALB) - With information from the Georgia Supreme Court-
Chief Justice Hugh P. Thompson of the Georgia Supreme Court announced today that he will leave the Supreme Court of Georgia in early January 2017, after the swearing in of a new Chief Justice.
That means that Governor Nathan Deal will have the opportunity to appoint another justice to the state's highest court.
"Our Court is undergoing significant change," said Thompson, 73, whose four-year term as Chief Justice ends in August 2017. "We will have two new justices coming on board in January as our Court grows from seven to nine justices. I believe that selecting my successor so he or she can start at the same time will make for a smoother transition."
Thompson said he also wants to fulfill a pledge he made to Presiding Justice P. Harris Hines so that Hines will have more time as Chief Justice before his retirement in 2018.
Thompson, who was appointed to the high court in 1994 by Governor Zell Miller, said he has been honored to serve the citizens of Georgia as Chief Justice and leader of their judicial branch.
"It has been the fulfillment of dreams," said Thompson, who has been a judge for 45 years. "I have loved every minute of it and have been privileged to serve with the most dedicated, committed and talented group of jurists in the nation."