Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Nahmias to resign this summer

Chief Justice David E. Nahmias announced on Friday he will step down from Supreme Court of Georgia this summer.

The chief justice, who was appointed to the state’s highest court in August 2009 by then-Governor Sonny Perdue, said he will resign effective July 17, the last day of the court’s next term. That is a little over a year after Gov. Brian Kemp elevated Nahmais to the state’s top jurist.

The chief justice hand-delivered his letter of resignation to the governor on Friday.

"I believe that I have contributed to making the decisional law of Georgia clearer, more consistent, and more faithful to the text and original understanding of our State’s Constitution and statutes," he wrote.


Chief Justice Nahmias served the state’s highest court for the last 12 years, writing more than 470 opinions, joining more than 2,700 others, filling 27 volumes of the Georgia Reports, and being re-elected twice.

In his letter, Chief Justice Nahmias explained that, "after several months of reflection and prayer," he has decided to spend more time with his family, including his new fiancée and children, one of whom will begin playing college football this fall and the other of whom will be a rising junior in high school. He has not yet decided what path his legal career will take next.

Prior to his serving on the state’s highest court, Nahmias served as a prosecutor for 15 years.


Nahmias is an Atlanta native born to immigrants from Egypt and Germany. He graduated from Briarcliff High School in DeKalb County, where he was the state’s STAR Student in 1982 and then attended Duke University, where he finished second in his class and summa cum laude, and Harvard Law School, where he graduated magna cum laude and served on the Law Review. Nahmias then served as a law clerk for Judge Laurence H. Silberman of the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia and for Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court.

After practicing law for a time at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson in Washington D.C., the now-chief justice became a federal prosecutor in 1995 first handling a number of armed robbery, firearms, arson, and explosives cases including having worked on the Centennial Olympic Park bombing and helped to ultimately indict Eric Rudolph for the crime.

Nahmias then switched to prosecuting corruption successfully prosecuting a Georgia State Senator on corruption charge and investigate public corruption claims in the City of Atlanta and Fulton County government.

Following the September 11th attacks, Nahmias focused on terrorism, having prosecuted and supervised many high-profile cases, and as a senior Justice Department official in Washington, where he oversaw terrorism cases.

In 2003, he was appointed as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division where he worked on counterterrorism and fraud most notably serving on the Enron Task Force.

Nahmias was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2004 to serve as the US Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia where his expertise on terrorism, national security, and white collar crimes was put to good use serving on several advisory committees.


Nahmias touts some of the accomplishments in his time as a justice on the Supreme Court of Georgia as having service as Chair of the Judicial Council of Georgia, Chair of the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, Chair of the Court’s Justice for Children Committee, and liaison Justice for uniform court rules. He also worked to improve Georgia’s judicial ethics and discipline system, serving for many years as the liaison Justice for the Judicial Qualifications Commission and overseeing a major revision of the Georgia Code of Judicial Conduct and the Commission’s rules.

This past week, the chief justice gave what would become his final State of Judiciary address to the Georgia General Assembly highlighting some of the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic and advocating help for the courts in ending the backlog of cases caused as a result.