Groups Call on Georgia Governor to Diversify Bench

By: Errin Haines, AP
By: Errin Haines, AP

Atlanta, GA (AP) -- A coalition of civil rights and attorneys groups says African-American judges are disappearing from the bench in one of Georgia's most heavily-populated black counties and being replaced by white appointees.

The coalition is calling on Gov. Nathan Deal to fill those judicial vacancies to reflect the diversity of the communities they serve. The Rev. Joseph Lowery says the issue is a matter of fairness, not of race.

Two black attorney groups say that every African-American judge who has resigned or retired from Fulton County Superior Court replaced by gubernatorial appointment since 2002 has been replaced by a white appointee. They say black representation on the bench has decreased from 44 percent in 2002 to 30 percent.

A spokeswoman for Deal did not immediately return a call for comment.

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