DeKalb County Superior Court Judge J.P. Boulee.
Photo: DeKalb County Superior Court
Photo: DeKalb County Superior Court

U.S. Senate confirms DeKalb judge for seat on Atlanta federal bench

The U.S. Senate has overwhelmingly confirmed DeKalb County Superior Court Judge J.P. Boulee for a seat on the federal court bench in Atlanta.

Boulee replaces U.S. District Judge Bill Duffey, who retired in July 2018. The Senate’s confirmation vote Wednesday was 85-11.

Boulee becomes the third judge nominated by President Donald Trump to be approved for a seat on the court here. Trump’s fourth nomination, of Atlanta lawyer Steven Grimberg, is still pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia is allotted 11 judges and has branches in Newnan, Gainesville and Rome.

Former Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Boulee to the DeKalb bench in 2015. Once a captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps, Boulee founded DeKalb’s veterans treatment court.

Boulee had presided over the high-profile murder case against former police officer Robert Olsen, who shot and killed unarmed Afghanistan War veteran Anthony Hill at a Chamblee apartment complex in March 2015. In a pretrial ruling, Boulee rejected Olsen’s claim that he was acting in self-defense and should be immune from prosecution.

Earlier this year, Boulee recused himself from the murder case. This occurred after he was listed as a sponsor on a flyer distributed by District Attorney Sherry Boston for a 5K race she hosted on behalf of a domestic violence center. When withdrawing, Boulee said judges must disqualify themselves from cases in which their impartiality might reasonably be questioned.

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