Gay Atlanta attorney nominated for Georgia Supreme Court

At least one gay attorney in metro Atlanta was among those nominated for a seat on the Georgia Supreme Court.

Stephen Scarborough (photo) was among the 101 lawyers and judges that made the list, according to the Daily Report. Scarborough is a criminal defense attorney with extensive work in HIV criminalization cases. In 1999, the Stonewall Bar Association honored Scarborough for his role in helping to overturn Georgia’s sodomy laws when he was a staff attorney at the Southern Regional Office of Lambda Legal.

"I do hope the person selected has a deep concern for fairness to the oppressed and deprived in our state, including people who may have made serious mistakes in life," Scarborough told Project Q Atlanta.

The opening was created by the upcoming retirement of Chief Justice P. Harris Hines. Justice Harold Melton will succeed Hines as chief justice, leaving one spot on the bench. The court is expecting another opening once the U.S. Senate confirms Justice Britt Grant, who President Trump nominated to a spot on the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

The Judicial Nomination Commission will narrow the list to about 30 for interviews later this month. Following the interviews, the commission will send its list of recommendations to Gov. Nathan Deal, according to the Daily Report.

However, those nominated often decline to pursue the post. Scarborough, who said he was “honored” to have been nominated, told Project Q Atlanta he hasn’t decided yet whether to apply.

“The application is a bit cumbersome for a longshot candidate, and there is enough daylight between the work I've done as a lawyer and Gov. Deal's apparent ideological preferences to make me think it's unlikely I would get an interview,” he said.

Scarborough did make a plea for Deal to diversify the court.

“I haven't researched the 101-person list to determine everyone's demographics, and it's the nominators, rather than the governor, who are responsible for the makeup of the list,” Scarborough said. “But if the Supreme Court is going to represent the people it affects, there's room for at least one more justice of color, a qualification that I don't have. I hope Gov. Deal keeps that factor in mind.”

Scarborough said he has until the end of the week to apply.

Two LGBT attorneys were nominated to the court in 2016 – criminal defense attorney Christine Koehler and Fulton magistrate and family law attorney Gary Alembik. Koehler later withdrew her name from consideration.

The full list of nominations, according to the Daily Report.

Stephen Dillard
Ural D. Glanville
Paige Reese Whitaker
Bonnie Michelle Smith
John Raymond Burdges
Marc Mallon
Gary Gerrard
Melanie Barbee-Cross
Kelly Lee Ellerbe
Carla McMillian
Shawn Ellen LaGrua
Cornel Potra
Barry E. Morgan
Asha F. Jackso
J. P. Boulee
Tain Kell
Sara L. Doyle
Regina Quick
Sarah Hawkins Warren
John Edward Niedrach
Randy Ric
Kyle G. A. Wallace
Michael S. Broun
Charlie Bethel
John Carswell Pridgen
John N. Davis
William Hulbert Gregory II
Robert W. Chasteen Jr
H. Maddox Kilgore
Emily Richardson
Robert D. Wolf
C. Wilson DuBose
Inez Grant
Ann Byrd
John D. Hadden
Terrence Lee Croft
Regina D. Cannon
Andy Welch
Anne Barne
Yvette Miller
Brian Rickman
Amanda Mercier
Clyde Reese
Trent Brown
Nicole Leet
Catherine Koura
Mark Worthan
Pat DiCarlo
Julie Adams Jacobs
Frank McKay
Audra Ann Dial
Jason Deal
Dax Lopez
Gail Tusan
A. Dee Morris
Luana K. Walsh
Konrad Ziegler
Wayne Purdom
Amanda Speights
Stephen Scarborough
Suparna Malempati Joshi
Lawton E. Stephens
William (Bill) Cowsert
Eric C. Crawford
Jacqueline F. Luther
Shuli L. Green
John Breakfield
C. Lee Davis
Jefferson (Jeff) Upchurch
Brian Amero
Steven Leibel
Tom Rawling
Beth Burton
Corey Martin
Stephen Knights
Robert C.I. McBurney
Bruce M. Edenfield
L. Bruce Hedrick
Denise Rainwater Griffin
Alvin T. Wong
Bert Norton
Stanley Gunter
Peter C. Lomtevas
Kenneth Shigley
Christopher McFadden
Shondeana Crews Morris
Deborah Ann Johnson
Edward Lukemire
Calvin Blackburn
Brooke Flaherty Tiner
Sarah Gerwig-Moore
Richard H. Bennett
Robert “Bo” Hunter
Sarah Tipton-Downie
Paul M. Baisier
Robert “Bob” Laurence Barr Jr.
Stefan Ritter
Robert Semler
Michael B. Terry
Ruth McMullin
Gerard Kleinrock