2 candidates look to serve as Ga. Supreme Court justice

2 candidates look to serve as Ga. Supreme Court justice

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Two candidates are vying for one of the justice positions on the Georgia State Supreme Court.

The incumbent, Sarah Hawkins Warren, and the deputy chief assistant district attorney for the Dougherty Judicial Circuit, Hal Moroz.

Tuesday’s election will decide the nonpartisan post.

Sarah Hawkins Warren was appointed to the Supreme Court Of Georgia in September 2018 and is now running for election for the first time.

“Being on the Supreme Court has been the greatest honor of my professional career. And it’s a job I want to keep, not just because it’s my job, but because I really think it’s my vocation,” said Warren.

Warren is opposed by Hal Moroz, of Albany.

Moroz served 21 years in the Army, becoming an attorney.

He has also served in several Georgia cities as a magistrate judge, city chief judge and acting probate judge.

Moroz said working four years as an assistant district attorney has opened his eyes to Georgia Supreme Court decisions he did not agree with.

“I saw many things happening in state Supreme Court, and I thought you know what, I need to get involved. And I think the unrest we are experiencing right now across the country is a lack of confidence in our core institutions,” said Moroz.

Moroz cites his long and varied experience in the court system as one reason he is the more qualified candidate.

Warren was the solicitor general for the Georgia Attorney General, which she said highly qualified her appointment.

“I was coordinating appellate advocacy for the entire law department for the state, regularly making arguments before the Georgia Supreme Court and other state and federal courts. Argued before the United States Supreme Court. I was the attorney general’s primary constitutional law advisor. That was the springboard for me to be appointed to the court,” said Warren.

Warren said serving on the Supreme Court is how she thinks she can best possibly serve her home state.

Moroz also said he wants to serve his home on the Supreme Court, making sure laws provide equal justice for all.

“We have to have gatekeepers on the Supreme Court who look at cases and decide is justice being equally doled out. And I am talking about equal justice for all. I’m talking about founding principles,” said Moroz.

Tuesday’s election will decide the justice post, with the winner serving a six-year term.

Hal Moroz has authored many books and articles, including historical pieces.

WALB News 10 has been contacted by a person who questioned Hal Moroz’s qualifications because in one of his books, he praised Confederate leaders Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee.

We asked Moroz for a response and he sent us the following statement:

“When the words of any person over a lifetime are taken out of context, I realize they can be warped to fit any narrative. And I understand that politics is no place for the weak of heart or those sensitive to criticism.

I have taught United States history and the law, and have written about the same. They comprise dozens of books and countless articles over several decades. But some detractors of mine have taken words I have written in books and mixed them with fictitious social media postings to form what are anathema to my beliefs as an American and a Christian. And in that same context, I am informed that my detractors who take quotes out of context on historical figures I have written about, failed to mention any of my writings on people like Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt or those who penned the Constitution or served with distinction in our military.

So there is no doubt, I love the Constitution and the inalienable rights its espouses, such as the freedom of speech and the proposition of equal justice under the law, regardless of someone’s race, gender, national origin or any of the immutable characteristics they may possess. In fact, I fought for those very rights as a soldier in the Army for the first 21 years of my adult life. And I have always aspired to conduct myself as a public figure in the highest traditions of the law and my upbringing. I am not perfect, but nor am I what others who do not know me would suggest I am."

Hal Moroz

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