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Wednesday, July 1, 2009 - 12:13pm

Hunstein Sworn in As New Supreme Court Chief Justice

Former DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Carol Hunstein was sworn in today as Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court. Former Governor Zell Miller presided over the investiture. Hunstein was chosen by Miller in 1992 to become the second woman to serve on Georgia's Supreme Court. She succeeds outgoing Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears, who retired in June.

As the state's revenues continue to decline, and following a recent move by Governor Sonny Perdue to slash the judiciary's budget, the new chief justice says she will make funding the state's courts one of her top priorities.

"I plan to sit down with the Governor and with other leaders very, very soon and explain the constitutional duty of our court system. The citizens of this state deserve to have access to their courts. I am very, very confident that we will be able to work amiably together to resolve the problems."

And, associate justice George Carley was also sworn in today to succeed Hunstein as presiding judge. Miller appointed Carley to the state’s highest court in 1993.

The Chief Justice presides over Georgia's judicial branch, just as the governor heads the executive branch of government. The Presiding Justice serves in her absence.