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Thompson to be new Chief Justice

ATLANTA — Hugh P. Thompson, a Millegeville native, will be the next chief justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia, according to a notice issued by the court on Thursday. Thompson will succeed Carol W. Hunstein in that position.

The state's chief justice presides over Georgia's judicial branch, just as the governor serves as head of the executive branch, and House and Senate leaders head the legislative branch.

The court release stated that in addition to Thompson's unanimous election, P. Harris Hines has been elected to become the new presiding justice and will serve in the absence of the chief justice.

According to the release, the role of the chief justice is to preside over oral arguments, oversee meetings in which the court makes its decisions and to chair the Georgia Judicial Council, which governs all levels of the state's courts. Each justice will serve a single four-year term and has one vote, as do other justices of the court.

Thompson and Hines will be sworn into their new positions in a ceremony in the state Supreme Court courtroom on Aug. 15.