Trump picks DeKalb judge to fill vacancy on federal court

DeKalb County Superior Court Judge J.P. Boulee.

Credit: Courtesy photo

Credit: Courtesy photo

DeKalb County Superior Court Judge J.P. Boulee.

President Donald Trump on Monday nominated DeKalb County Superior Court Judge J.P. Boulee to fill a vacancy on the federal court bench in Atlanta.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Boulee would replace Bill Duffey, who retired as a U.S. District Court judge on July 1.

Both of Georgia’s Republican senators, Johnny Isakson and David Perdue, applauded Boulee’s nomination.

“President Trump has chosen an outstanding legal professional to fill this judicial vacancy in Georgia,” Perdue said. “Judge Boulee is immensely qualified for this role.”

Said Isakson, “I look forward to working with Judge Boulee as his nomination proceeds in the Senate.”

In 2015, Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Boulee to the DeKalb bench, where he founded the county’s veterans treatment court. Before that, Boulee was a partner at the Jones Day law firm and once served as a captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps.

Boulee has presided over the high-profile murder case against DeKalb police officer Robert Olsen, who shot and killed unarmed Afghanistan War veteran Anthony Hill at a Chamblee apartment complex in March 2015.

In a recent ruling, Boulee rejected Olsen's attorneys' claims that the officer was acting in self-defense and should be immune from prosecution. But with his nomination now before the Senate, Boulee may be unable to preside over Olsen's trial.

Staff writer Tamar Hallerman contributed to this story.