09/04/2018 — Atlanta, Georgia — Presiding Georgia Supreme Court Justice Harold D. Melton (center) laughs as retired Georgia Supreme Court Justice P. Harris Hines introduces him during the swearing in ceremony for the Georgia Supreme Court at the State Capitol in Atlanta, Thursday, August 30, 2018. Justice Melton was sworn in as the new Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)
“I have loved him since that time,” said the 74-year-old Hines, who wore a small UGA emblem on the upper back of his robe to show his support for the Bulldogs. “I don’t know if he’s like my youngest brother or oldest child.”
The only problem Hines said he had with Melton was his alma mater: Auburn University. Not missing a beat, Melton wore a Auburn emblem on his robe as well. At Auburn, Melton became the school’s first black student body president.
09/04/2018 — Atlanta, Georgia — Retired Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice P. Harris Hines (left) swears in Justice David Nahmias (right) as a new presiding Justice during the oath taking ceremony for the Georgia Supreme Court at the State Capitol in Atlanta, Thursday, August 30, 2018. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)
During a short speech, Melton thanked his family and many friends from his church, his neighborhood and his past for helping him get to where he is today.
Melton, who has served on the state Supreme Court since 2005, succeeds Hines, who is retiring from the bench. Before swearing in Melton, Hines administered the oath to David Nahmias as the Supreme Court's next presiding justice.