“It doesn’t begrudge him,” Brown said. “It has nothing to do with him. It has to do with the secretary of state and the governor trying to grab an appointment.”
The governor has a duty to appoint a successor and fill a vacancy promptly, the lawsuit said. But that’s not possible in Blackwell’s instance because his seat won’t be vacant until November, the suit noted.
Raffensperger’s cancellation of the election for Justice Blackwell’s position “is an absolute restriction on the plaintiffs’ right to vote,” the lawsuit said. “The only purpose served by cancelling an election when there is no actual vacancy is to avoid an election — that is, to disenfranchise voters.”
Both Blackwell and Kemp could decide that, whatever their personal interests may be, it is better to respect the choice of the people through elections, said the lawsuit, pointedly citing a decision by late Justice Charles Weltner.
“All government, of right, originates with the people, is founded upon their will only and is instituted solely for the good of the whole,” Weltner wrote in a 1982 opinion.
Although Kemp has not appointed a successor to fill Blackwell’s seat, his Judicial Nominating Commission recently forwarded a list of four names for the appointment. They are: Court of Appeals Judge Sara Doyle, Cobb County Superior Court Judge Tain Kell, Fulton Superior Court Judge Shawn LaGrua, and Wade Padgett of the August Judicial Circuit.
Kemp has not indicated whether he will wait until the litigation plays out before making his decision.