Vote No on Georgia Amendment 3

Posted by Richard Lawson | Oct 17, 2016 | 2 Comments

I hardly ever write about politics in my blog, but this is imperative.  Vote “No” on Amendment 3 this November 8th.  

In Georgia we have an independent Constitutionally formed Judicial Qualifications Committee. The JQC investigates and disciplines judges who violate their duties and their ethical obligations.  The system works very well.  In the past five years, several bad judges have been removed from the bench.  

Amendment 3 is a solution looking for a problem.  The real issue here is that ballot proposal will turn an independent agency into a board that is appointed by politicians, thereby bringing politics into every decision.  Additionally, the now open process will be made a secretive process.

In fact, the language of the ballot intuitive itself foreshadows the new agency it proposes because it is completely misleading.  It starts by saying that the proposal will reform the process, and then it goes on to say how it will discipline bad judges and make the process more open. However, the voters are unaware that we already have an independent agency to discipline judges now.  The proposal is written in such a way as to mislead the general public into not knowing that we already have a system in place to discipline judges openly and fairly.

The man who proposed this initiative is disgraced former Judge Johnnie Caldwell.  He claims it is to bring fairness to the system, the same system that removed him from the bench.  The voters of Georgia House District 131, unfortunately, elected him to the General Assembly, where he has used his second chance as an elected official as a tool for revenge against the agency that removed his from his judicial office.

We have a good system now that is independent of political influence.  Please vote "No" on Amendment 3 on November 8th.   The court system depends on honest and fair judges. 

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


Stacy Reply

Posted Nov 04, 2016 at 06:18:56

I’ve searched and read several websites for a better understanding of this amendment. Your explanation was the absolute best.

Thank you for providing clarity on this issue.

Richard Lawson Reply

Posted Nov 04, 2016 at 15:07:08

Thank you. It sad that the amendment looks like reform when it is designed to strip the JQC of its independence and power.

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