(Media release from the Supreme Court of Georgia):

Presiding Justice Michael P. Boggs has been unanimously elected by his colleagues to become the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia.

He will succeed Chief Justice David E. Nahmias, who will resign from the Court on July 17, 2022, after more than a dozen years of distinguished service as a Justice.

The Court also unanimously elected Justice Nels S.D. Peterson as its next Presiding Justice. The new roles take effect July 18, 2022.

The Chief Justice, who serves one four-year term, leads Georgia’s judicial branch. The Chief Justice is the spokesperson for the Supreme Court, as well as for the entire state judiciary. He presides over the Court’s oral arguments and the Court’s deliberation of cases, although he has only one vote as does each of the eight other Justices.

The Chief Justice also chairs the Judicial Council of Georgia, the policy-making body for the judicial branch that includes the State Bar President and 26 judges who represent the appellate courts and all classes of trial courts in the state. The Presiding Justice serves in the Chief Justice’s absence and is the vice-chair of the Judicial Council.

Presiding Justice Michael P. Boggs has served on the Supreme Court since his appointment by former Governor Nathan Deal in 2016. He won statewide election to a six-year term in 2018. Previously, Presiding Justice Boggs served as a Judge on the Court of Appeals of Georgia—the state’s intermediate appellate court—and as a Superior Court Judge for the Waycross Judicial Circuit, founding and serving as the first presiding judge of the Circuit’s Drug Court Program.

Prior to his judicial service, Presiding Justice Boggs served in the Georgia General Assembly for two terms. He was appointed by Gov. Deal to serve as a co-chair of the Georgia Criminal Justice Reform Council from 2012 to 2018. He currently chairs the Judicial Council of Georgia’s Ad Hoc Committee on American Rescue Plan Act Funding and serves on Governor Brian Kemp’s Judicial Nominating Commission and the Georgia Behavioral Health Reform and Innovation Commission, where he chairs the Mental Health Courts and Corrections Subcommittee. He is chairman of the national steering committee of Justice Counts, an initiative led by the Council of State Governments Justice Center and supported by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance as an effort to improve the availability and utility of criminal justice data in policy-making decisions. He also serves on the Board of Advisors for the Council of State Governments Justice Center and the Council on Criminal Justice.

Presiding Justice Boggs is a graduate of Georgia Southern College and Mercer University School of Law. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Mercer University and the Board of Visitors at Mercer Law School. He and his wife Heather, a kindergarten teacher, reside in Pierce County.

Justice Peterson has served on the Court since his appointment by Gov. Deal in 2017. He won statewide election to a six-year term in 2018. Justice Peterson previously served as a Judge on the Court of Appeals and as Georgia’s first Solicitor General in the Office of the Attorney General.

Justice Peterson also previously served as Executive Counsel to Governor Sonny Perdue, and Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs and Secretary to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. Before his time in state government, he served as a law clerk to Judge William H. Pryor Jr. and practiced law at King & Spalding, LLP. Justice Peterson graduated from Kennesaw State University and Harvard Law School, and currently lives with his wife Jennifer and two children in Cobb County.