In front of a crowd of some 150 people at the state Capitol Monday, Macon Judicial Circuit Superior Court Chief Judge Tripp Self and two others swore to act fairly when they take their seats on the second-highest court in the state.
Gov. Nathan Deal administered the oaths for the Georgia Court of Appeals to Self, as well as to Charlie Bethel and Clyde Reese, who are leaving the state Senate and the Department of Community Health, respectively, for the court.
The oath came about six weeks after Gov. Nathan Deal called Self to offer the job.
“As I begin this service, I want to promise to be true to the law as our legislators wrote them, not as we may prefer them to have been written. I want to make the law a little clearer with every opinion, and I want to support our trial judges whenever we can,” said Self, who’s been a judge for about 10 years.
He’s also an NCAA football official, and he likened the work of an appeals court judge to a replay official.
“We get to stop the case, rewind, refocus and we have the luxury of two appellate terms to make the call,” Self said.
The new job is exciting, he said, but bittersweet in part because he’ll give up oversight of the Macon circuit’s Veterans Court. It’s a so-called “problem-solving” court that uses strict oversight along with therapies to help certain defendants stay on the right side of the law.
Self’s term begins Jan. 1.
Maggie Lee: @maggie_a_lee