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Justice Robert Benham Presides Over Last Oral Arguments At Georgia Supreme Court

Justice Robert Benham sat for the last time Thursday on the bench of the Supreme Court of Georgia.
Justice Robert Benham sat for the last time Thursday on the bench of the Supreme Court of Georgia.
Credit Courtesy of Supreme Court of Georgia

On Thursday, Justice Robert Benham presided over oral arguments at the Georgia Supreme Court for the last time.

As WABE’s Pat St.Claire reports, Benham is retiring from the bench.

Benham has served for nearly 36 years, first as a judge on the Court of Appeals and then as a justice and chief justice of the Georgia’s highest court.

He announced his retirement in December, effective March 1.

Justice  Robert Benham
Justice Robert Benham is the first African American ever appointed to the Georgia Supreme Court. (Courtesy of Supreme Court of Georgia)

Benham is the first African American ever appointed to the Georgia Supreme Court.

He recounted how his career at the state Capitol began nearly 50 years ago, as an intern to then-Gov. Lester Maddox, a known segregationist.

Benham, who’s from Cartersville, said he never imagined he would one day be appointed as a justice to the state’s highest court. He says it’s the best job he ever had.

Gov. Brian Kemp will appoint Benham’s replacement.