Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Texas are holding elections next week. Find out what's on your ballot in our latest report.

Robert Benham

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Robert Benham
Court Information:
Georgia Supreme Court
Title:   Justice
Salary:  $167,000
Appointed by:   Gov. Joe Frank Harris
Active:   1989-2020
Chief:   1995-2001
Preceded by:   Willis Hunt
Past post:   Judge, Georgia Court of Appeals
Past term:   1984-1989
Past post 2:   Attorney in private practice
Personal History
Undergraduate:   Tuskegee University, 1967
Law School:   University of Georgia, Lumpkin School of Law, 1970
Grad. School:   University of Virginia, 1989
Military service:   U.S. Army
Candidate 2014:
Candidate for:  Georgia Supreme Court
Position:  Benham
State:  Georgia
Election information 2014:
Incumbent:  Yes
Election date:  5/20/2014
Election vote:  100%ApprovedA

Robert Benham is an associate justice of the seven-member Georgia Supreme Court. He was appointed to the court in December 1989 by Governor Joe Frank Harris. Justice Benham was retained for additional six-year terms in 1990, 1996, 2002, 2008 and 2014. Benham served as chief justice of the court from 1995 until 2001. His current term expires in 2020.


Benham earned his undergraduate degree in political science from Tuskegee University in 1967. He attended Harvard University but earned his J.D. from the University of Georgia, Lumpkin School of Law in 1970. In 1989, he earned his LL.M. from the University of Virginia.[1]


After law school, Benham joined the U. S. Army Reserve, and he left the service as a Captain. He began his legal career as a trial attorney for Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Inc. He later went into private practice. During this time, he also became a Special Assistant Attorney General. He was appointed to the Georgia Court of Appeals by Governor Joe Frank Harris on April 3, 1984, where he served until his 1989 appointment to the Georgia Supreme Court.[1]



See also: Georgia judicial elections, 2014
Benham ran for re-election to the Georgia Supreme Court.
General: He won without opposition in the general election on May 20, 2014.[2][3]


Georgia Supreme Court, Associate Justice
2008 General election results
Candidates Votes Percent
Robert Benham Green check mark transparent.png 2,812,875 100%
Against retention 0 0%
  • Click here for 2008 General Election Results from the Georgia Secretary of State.

Benham's campaign raised $513,327.43 and spent $336,450.65 in the course of winning re-election.[4]

Awards and associations


  • One of "100 Most Influential Georgians," Georgia Trend Magazine
  • One of "100 Most Influential Blacks in America," Ebony Magazine
  • Distinguished Public Service Award, Atlanta Bar Association, Litigation Section
  • R. Prudence Herndon Award, Gate City Bar Association
  • William Hastie Award, National Bar Association
  • Robert Benham Community Service Award, Georgia Bar Association


  • Trustee, Georgia Legal History Foundation
  • President, Society for Alternative Dispute Resolution.[5]
  • Member, American Judicature Society
  • Member, Georgia Bar Foundation
  • Member, Governors Business Institute
  • Member, Lawyers' Club of Atlanta
  • Member, National Association of Court Management
  • Member, National Conference of Chief Justices
  • Member, National Criminal Justice Association
  • Member, Scribes American Society of Writers on Legal Subjects
  • Member, Georgia Bar Association, Task Force on the Involvement of Women & Minorities in the Profession
  • Member, Georgia Commission on Children & Youth
  • Member, Federal-State Jurisdiction Committee
  • Member, Governors Southern Business Institute
  • Chairman, Judicial Council
  • Chairman, Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism
  • Former Chairman, Governor's Commission on Drug Awareness & Prevention
  • Past President, Bartow County Bar Association
  • Former Board Member, Federal Lawyers Association
  • Former Board Member, Georgia Association of Trial Lawyers
  • Former Vice President, Georgia Conference of Black Lawyers[1]

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. Benham received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of -0.03, 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.[6]

See also

External links