Georgia governor to swear in new high court chief justice

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia's governor plans to swear in the new chief justice of the state Supreme Court.

A news release from the high court says Gov. Nathan Deal will swear in P. Harris Hines for his new role Friday in the House chamber of the state Capitol.

Hines was unanimously chosen in September by his fellow justices in September to succeed retiring Chief Justice Hugh P. Thompson.

The chief justice heads the state's judicial branch, presides over oral arguments before the Supreme Court as well as meetings at which justices reach their decisions. The chief justice also serves as the top spokesman for the state's judicial system.

Hines is to preside over oral arguments Monday, which will be the first time the recently expanded court includes nine justices rather than seven.