Judge Carla Wong McMillan Appointed To GA Supreme Court; Colvin, Pipkin To Court Of Appeals

It’s a big day for Georgia’s appellate courts, as Governor Brian Kemp has made three appointments. Appeals Court Judge Carla Wong McMillan has been elevated to Georgia’s highest court. Filling two vacancies on Georgia’s Court of Appeals are Verda M Coleman and John A. “Trey” Pipkin III.

McMillan is taking the seat vacated by Justice Keith Blackwell Robert Benham, who resigned effective March first.

Another Supreme Court vacancy looms for the seat of Justice Kenneth Blackwell, who announced his intention to retire recently. The transition set off legal maneuvering over the appointment process, as both former Republican legislator Beth Beskin and former Democratic Congressman John Barrow have sued demanding they be allowed to qualify for the election this year.

Based on existing law and court rulings, Blackwell’s replacement remains in the purview of the Governor, with the election for this seat moved to the 2022 cycle. Barrow and Beskin continue appealing this decision with the added motion that the entire GA Supreme Court recuse themselves, while Beskin has also qualified to run this year against Justice and former State Senator Charlie Bethel.

The biographies of the newly appointed Judges as supplied by Governor Kemp’s office are as follows:

Carla Wong McMillian currently serves as a judge for the Court of Appeals of Georgia. Prior to that role, she served as a judge for the State Court of Fayette County, associate and then partner with Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP, and as law clerk for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Judge McMillian earned her bachelor’s degree from Duke University and law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law. She and her family live in Tyrone. Judge McMillian will become the first Asian-American female in the Southeast to be appointed to the state’s highest court.

Verda M. Colvin has served as Superior Court Judge of the Macon Judicial Circuit since April 2014. Previously, she served as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, Assistant District Attorney for the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office, Assistant General Counsel for Clark Atlanta University, Assistant Solicitor for the Solicitor’s Office in Athens-Clarke County, and as an associate for Ferguson, Stein, Watt, Wallas, and Gresham, P.A. Judge Colvin received her bachelor’s degree from Sweet Briar College and law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law. She and her family reside in Macon. Judge Colvin will become the state’s first African-American female appointed to the Georgia Court of Appeals by a Republican governor.

John A. “Trea” Pipkin III currently serves as Superior Court Judge and Solicitor-General in McDonough, Georgia. He is also an adjunct professor of law at Gordon State College. He previously served as Assistant District Attorney for the Flint Circuit District Attorney’s Office and as an adjunct professor of law at the Emory University School of Law. Judge Pipkin earned his associate’s degree from Reinhardt College, bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia, and law degree from Georgia State University College of Law. He and his wife reside in McDonough.

The original version of this story stated McMillan’s appointment was to replace Justice Blackwell, and has been corrected above. As per usual GeorgiaPol.com policy, we regret the mistake and blame others.

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