George Carley

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George Carley
Court Information:
Georgia Supreme Court
Title:   Retired Justice
Salary:  $167,000
Appointed by:   Joe Frank Harris
Active:   1993-2012
Chief:   May 2012-July 2012
Preceded by:   Leah Ward Sears
Past post:   Georgia Court of Appeals
Past term:   1979-1993
Personal History
Born:   September 24, 1938
Undergraduate:   University of Georgia, 1960
Law School:   University of Georgia School of Law, 1962
Military service:   United States Army Reserve 1956-1960

George H. Carley was the Presiding Justice of the seven member Georgia Supreme Court. In his last two months on the court, from May 29, 2012 through July 31, 2012, Carley also served as the Chief Justice. Serving briefly as Chief Justice made Carley the first judge to serve as the Presiding and Chief Justice of both the Georgia Court of Appeals and the Georgia Supreme Court. He retired in July 2012 and Governor Nathan Deal will appoint his successor.[1][2] He was first nominated to the court in the state's Commission-selection, political appointment method of judicial selection on March 16, 1993 by Governor Zell Miller. Justice Carley was retained for additional six-year terms in 1994, 2000 and 2006. He assumed the position of presiding justice upon the retirement from the court of Leah Ward Sears, whereupon Carol Hunstein became chief justice.[3]


Carley earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia in 1960 and his LL.B. degree from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1962.[1]


Following his admission to the bar Carley actively engaged in private practice until he was appointed to the bench in 1979. In 1966, he served in the Georgia House of Representatives. From 1971-1979, he was a partner in charge of litigation with the firm McCurdy & Candler. He also worked as the attorney for the Housing Authority of Decatur and as a special assistant attorney general handling eminent domain cases for the Department Of Transportation. Governor George D. Busbee appointed Carley to the Georgia Court of Appeals on April 5, 1979, where Carley was retained to a full six-year term in 1980, 1986 and 1992. He served as Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals from 1989 to 1990 and as presiding judge from 1991 to 1993. In 1993 he was appointed to the Georgia Supreme Court, a position which he still serves.[1]

Awards and associations


  • Member, Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity
  • Member, Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society
  • Member, Phi Delta Phi Legal Fraternity
  • Member, State Bar of Georgia
  • Member, Lawyers Foundation of Georgia
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Lawyers Club of Atlanta
  • Member, Old Warhorse Lawyers Club
  • Member, Joseph Henry Lumpkin American Inn of Court
  • Member, Law School's Board of Visitors
  • Member, Pythagoras Lodge No. 41, F.&A.M.
  • Member, Atlanta Consistory of the Scottish Rite
  • Member, Decatur Lodge 1602 B.P.O.E.
  • Former Member, Georgia Judicial Council
  • Former Member, Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution
  • Former Member, Decatur Federal Savings & Loan Association
  • Former Member, University of Georgia Law School, Board of Visitors
  • Former Member, University of Georgia Law School, Association Council
  • Former President, Joseph Henry Lumpkin American Inn of Court
  • Former President, Old Warhorse Lawyers Club
  • Former President, University of Georgia Law School Association Council
  • Former Chairman, University of Georgia Law School's Board of Visitors
  • Former Chairman, Georgia Law Related Education Consortium
  • Associate Justice, University of Georgia, Law School Honor Court
  • Trustee, Georgia Legal History Foundation, Inc.
  • Board of Directors, National High School Mock Trial Championship, Inc.[1]



Georgia Supreme Court, Associate Justice
2006 General election results
Candidates Votes Percent
George Carley Green check mark transparent.png 1,609,144 100%
Against retention 0 0%
  • Click here for 2006 General Election Results from the Georgia Secretary of State.

Political outlook

See also: Political outlook of State Supreme Court Justices

In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan ideology of state supreme court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns. A score above 0 indicated a more conservative leaning ideology while scores below 0 are more liberal. Carley received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of -0.12, indicating a liberal ideological leaning. This is more liberal than the average CF score of 0.09 that justices received in Georgia. The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature). This study is not a definitive label of a justice, but an academic gauge of various factors.[4]

See also

External links


GeorgiaGeorgia Supreme CourtGeorgia Court of AppealsGeorgia Superior CourtsGeorgia State CourtsGeorgia Juvenile CourtsGeorgia Probate CourtsGeorgia Magistrate CourtsGeorgia Municipal CourtsUnited States District Court for the Middle District of GeorgiaUnited States District Court for the Northern District of GeorgiaUnited States District Court for the Southern District of GeorgiaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh CircuitGeorgia countiesGeorgia judicial newsGeorgia judicial electionsJudicial selection in GeorgiaGeorgiaTemplatewithoutBankruptcy.jpg