Archive for the ‘Georgia Supreme Court’ Category

Your morning jolt: Kasim Reed says Barack Obama suffered from ‘ring rust’

One day after an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” to speak up for President Barack Obama, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed returned to the network to handicap Tuesday’s second presidential debate.

The question posed by MSNBC’s Chuck Todd was simple. What advice would you have for the president? To understand Reed’s reply, you need to know that the mayor is a very big boxing fan.

Reed’s advice for the president:

”Don’t over-correct. When you have sustained as much criticism as the president has, you can over-correct. The president had severe ring rust. You know what it’s like being around a president. He’s really not accustomed to people talking to him in the way that Mitt Romney did, after four years of running the country. He had ring rust.”

I.e., in boxing lingo, Obama was out of practice. Reed continued:

”I compared it to the Ali-Frazier fight in 1971, when Frazier knocked the champ down. Nobody expected that. But Ali went on to win the second and the …

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Ga. Supreme Court finds for gated community owner in gator case

This summary of today’s Georgia Supreme Court decision, in a gruesome fight over who is responsible for local wildlife, just rolled out:

In a split 4-to-3 decision, the Supreme Court of Georgia has reversed a Georgia Court of Appeals ruling in a high-profile Chatham County case involving an elderly woman who was partially eaten by an alligator.

As a result of today’s decision, written by Justice Harold Melton, the woman’s family has lost its attempt to have a jury try their case against the owners of the gated community where Gwyneth Williams was killed.
“Because the record shows that Williams had equal knowledge of the threat of alligators within the community, we reverse,” today’s majority decision says.

According to briefs filed in the case, Williams was housesitting for her daughter and son-in-law at their home in The Landings, a gated residential community of about 8,500 residents located on 4,500 acres on Skidaway Island, a coastal barrier island near Savannah. …

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Georgia Supreme Court takes up two-city feud over licenses at Hartsfield-Jackson airport

The Georgia Supreme Court today announced it would take on a long-standing tussle between the cities of Atlanta and College Park, over millions of dollars generated by airport businesses.

Oral arguments will take place this fall, according to the order made public today. At least three justices appear to already side with College Park – at least, they were willing to let stand a decision by the state Court of Appeals.

Here’s a backgrounder from last June, arising from the appeals court decision, by my AJC colleague Steve Visser:

The city of Atlanta might have to repay millions of dollars of taxes it improperly collected at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to College Park, according to a court ruling.

Atlanta has been collecting the occupational taxes for businesses at the airport that actually were in the city limits of College Park.

The issue went to the courts, and the Georgia Court of Appeals agreed with College Park: The small city is entitled to repayment of …

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Your morning jolt: Ga. Supreme Court overturns school board ousters

The Georgia Supreme Court has unanimously overturned Gov. Sonny Perdue’s 2010 decision to remove three members of the Warren County school board in east Georgia, while it was in the midst of an accreditation crisis.

The governor can remove members of a constitutionally mandated board if they violate the state’s ethics law – but not simply because they’re dysfunctional.

Look for this one to have implications for other school boards under scrutiny. A summary of the just-released decision:

Official Code of Georgia §45-10-4 grants the governor authority to remove members of any “board, commission, or authority” created by statute who have violated the state’s code of ethics law. However, “county school boards are creations of the Constitution,” Justice P. Harris writes in today’s opinion.

“While appellees argue that administrative removal of members of constitutionally-created boards, commissions and authorities is a wise policy that is consistent with our …

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Your morning jolt: Rick Santorum leads, Newt Gingrich trails in Tennessee poll

A Vanderbilt University poll this morning shows Rick Santorum with a commanding 38 percent lead in the GOP presidential contest in neighboring Tennessee, with Newt Gingrich in a statistical tie for fourth place with Ron Paul.

Gingrich will spend all of today at events in Nashville. Tennessee voters, like those in Georgia, will cast their primary ballots in the 10-state, Super Tuesday vote on March 6.

The top line in Tennessee:

– Santorum, 38 percent;

– Mitt Romney, 20 percent;

– Ron Paul, 15 percent;

– Newt Gingrich, 13 percent;

– Undecided, 13 percent;

That’s based on telephone interviews with 815 likely GOP voters with an MOE of +/-4.1 percent. A larger aspect of the poll, also conducted Feb. 16 to 22 by the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions at Vanderbilt, indicates that both Santorum and Mitt Romney would narrowly defeat President Barrack Obama in November.

The Vanderbilt poll measured antipathy toward the current occupant of the White House this …

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Your second jolt: Shocker! Republican senator speaks politely with Democrats

You can’t start the winter session of the Legislature without noting the latest turn of the screw in the state Senate.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle has let it be known that he was ready to re-assert his authority in the chamber – which was ripped from his hands 15 months on a vote by the Senate GOP caucus.

Last Wednesday, Senate President pro tem Tommie Williams, who now heads the chamber, paid a visit to a gathering of the Senate Democratic caucus. Nathan Humphrey, Williams’ chief of staff, acknowledged a brief meeting, but said it was nothing out of the ordinary.

“Senator Williams has traditionally tried to speak with at least the minority caucus leadership — if not the minority caucus as a whole — prior to the start of session,” Humprey reported.

But Democrats say the visit was without precedent. He made no promises, we’re told, but did encourage a dialogue between the two caucuses. Democrats took the visit as a sign that Williams might need their help to retain his …

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Georgia Supreme Court to review ban on assisted suicide

The state Supreme Court just sent word that it will review a challenge to the state’s ban on assisted suicide, arising from the indictment of officials connected with Final Exit Network of New Jersey.

Oral arguments have been scheduled for next Monday. From a case summary:

According to briefs filed by state prosecutors, the case involves John Celmer of Forsyth County, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. Celmer contacted the Final Exit Network and paid a $50 membership fee. In May 2008, he spoke to Nicholas Sheridan, the organization’s Southeast Regional Coordinator and sent him medical records and a statement that he wished to die. Sheridan assigned Celmer a “first responder,” who completed by phone a questionnaire with Celmer which she then submitted to Sheridan.

According to the State, Sheridan then forwarded the questionnaire and medical records to Thomas Goodwin, the organization’s president who subsequently approved Celmer for assistance….

Celmer ordered an …

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Georgia Supreme Court to hear death-by-alligator case

Law school students, mark your calendars for February.

The Georgia Supreme Court has agreed to hear a gruesome civil suit over who’s to blame for an 83-year-old woman’s death by alligator at a coastal Georgia country club and subdivision.

In 2007, Gwyneth Williams, was house-sitting for her daughter and son-in-law while they were in Europe. A neighbor found her dismembered body floating in a lagoon on the property.

The contents of the stomach of an alligator captured within the lagoon confirmed that it had attacked the woman. But The Landings country club and homeowners association, who have been sued by the woman’s family for negligence, dispute that this was the cause of death and have posited the possibility that Williams died of a heart attack first.

The state Court of Appeals sided with the family, who made this argument:

”This alligator came out of one of the petitioner’s lagoons. This lagoon was man-made. According to one of the petitioner’s own experts, the …

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Your morning jolt: What Rick Perry will say this morning in Cobb

Texas Gov. Rick Perry heads for Cobb County this morning, where he’ll deliver what’s being billed as his first domestic policy speech as a presidential candidate — and accuse rival Mitt Romney of governing Massachusetts the same way President Barack Obama has governed the nation.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry will be in Atlanta today. AP/Joe Burbank

Texas Gov. Rick Perry will be in Atlanta today. AP/Joe Burbank

Shannon McCaffery of the Associated Press has been slipped some highlights of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s 10 a.m. address before the Georgia Public Policy Foundation:

“As Republican voters decide who is best suited to lead this country in a new direction by stopping the spending spree and scrapping Obamacare, I am confident they will choose a nominee who has governed on conservative principles, not one whose health care policies paved the way for Obamacare,” Perry says, according to prepared remarks….

Perry contrasts Romney’s plan with the medical malpractice reform he signed as governor of Texas, and argues that both Romney and Obama have …

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Your morning jolt: Tim Pawlenty endorses Mitt Romney

Former governor and ex-GOP contender Tim Pawlenty stiffed fellow Minnesotan Michele Bachmann and joined the anti-Rick Perry movement in one fell swoop this morning, issuing an endorsement of Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential race.

National Review Online has just posted a few words from Pawlenty:

“Alone among the contenders, [Romney] possesses the unique qualifications to confront and master our severe economic predicament. His abiding faith in our country’s exceptional historical position as a beacon of freedom will make him the most important leader in a world that depends upon a strong America to stay at peace.”

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After tonight’s CNN/Tea Party Express debate in Tampa this evening, national eyes will be focused Tuesday on New York City as a bellwether for 2012. From Public Policy Polling:

Republican Bob Turner is poised to pull a huge upset in the race to replace Anthony Weiner as the Congressman from New York’s 9th Congressional District. He leads Democrat …

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