Even though the state of Georgia was supposed to hold an election to fill a seat on the state Supreme Court, as Justice Keith Blackwell, the Republican supreme court justice whose term expires this year, did not plan to run for reelection, something extremely weird happened: Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp and the state’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, canceled Tuesday’s election.
The election was supposed to determine who would fill justice Blackwell’s seat, Democratic Representative John Barrow or former Republican state lawmaker Beth Beskin. Instead, though, Governor Kemp will appoint Blackwell’s successor, which means he will ensure that the seat will remain Republican.
The state’s Supreme Court handed down a decision a few days ago that approves this scheme to keep Blackwell’s seat in the GOP’s hands, even though the decision is very, very unusual. First, six of the state’s regular Supreme Court justices recused from the case, which meant that they were replaced by lower court judges, and then the court’s decision turns upon ‘poorly drafted language in the state constitution’.
Despite valid arguments against the constitutionality of Kemp’s move, he made the decision, and it was upheld in the state Supreme Court.
People, expectedly, have been outraged by Kemp’s denial of democracy in Georgia, and they didn’t hesitate to express their fury on Twitter.