Georgia governor wants to expand supreme court; legislatures in 3 states (AZ, GA, WA) now actively attempting to change membership in state’s court of last resort

An anticipated plan by Georgia’s governor to expand the state’s supreme court from 7 to 9 members discussed here and here has finally been filed. HB 927 would make a host of changes in addition to the expansion, including altering the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals to take over many of the cases currently heard directly by the Supreme Court. The expansion plan specifically provides the vacancies would be filled by the governor; an election in November 2018 would be held for the seats as well.

This is the third time in the last decade the legislature has attempted to increase the Georgia Supreme Court (discussed here).

Georgia now joins Arizona and Washington in the list of states attempting to change the composition of their respective courts of last resort.

  • In Arizona the effort to expand the state’s Supreme Court from 5 to 7 members (HB 2537) may go before the full House this week. An effort to place it on the House Consent Calendar was rejected yesterday.
  • In Washington, legislators are attempting to reduce the state’s Supreme Court from 9 to 5 members (HB 2784).