Perdue picks U.S. attorney to join Ga. SC

By John O'Brien | Aug 13, 2009


ATLANTA (Legal Newsline) - Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue has named federal prosecutor David Nahmias to the state Supreme Court to replace retired Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears.

Perdue made the announcement Wednesday, noting that Nahmias' strict adherence to the law during his career of public service should serve him well on the court. Nahmias is currently the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.

Though Nahmias has no judicial experience, he was highly recommended by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Chief Justice John Roberts. He clerked for Scalia after law school and worked with Roberts.

"I am deeply honored and humbled by Gov. Perdue's selection of me to serve as a Supreme Court Justice, a position that is so important to protecting the rule of law and the democratic system of government in this state," Nahmias said.

"Decisions by our Supreme Court that properly apply the laws as enacted through the democratic process are vital to the safety and prosperity of our citizens."

Nahmias has worked at his current post since 2004, when he was nominated by President George W. Bush.

After Harvard Law School and his time clerking for Scalia and federal judge Laurence Silberman, Nahmias joined Hogan and Hartson, where he began working with Roberts.

After 9-11, Nahmias joined the Department of Justice to serve as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General, focusing on terrorism-related issues.

In 2003, he was appointed Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division, responsible for supervision of the Counterterrorism Section; the Fraud Section, which handles policy and litigation matters including corporate, securities, and health care fraud cases and the Enron Task Force; the Appellate Section; and the Capital Case Unit.

Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft also threw his support behind Nahmias.

Sears was listed as a possible candidate for the U.S. Supreme Court seat recently filled by Sonia Sotomayor. Sears plans to teach and work in private practice, having stepped down from the court in June.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at

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