Judge John Allen, The Chief Justice in the Chattahoochee Judicial District, stepped down from his post at the end of October. The 70-year-old has now retired after more than 25 years on the bench.
Judge Allen is widely respected for being a trailblazer, and often praised for his fair but compassionate approach to the law and those who came before his court. Allen was also the only African American judge on the bench. With his retirement, he leaves behind an all white, all male court in Muscogee County.
Allen himself has written to the Governor and the Judicial Nominating Commission urging them to consider race and diversity when naming his replacement.
"It is a tragedy if judges' decisions are all made from one narrow spectrum, one narrow portion of the spectrum, because a part of dispute resolution is being able to empathize and sympathize with the parties," expressed Allen.
When you look at the racial makeup of Muscogee County, the largest in the six county Chattahoochee District, it makes sense that African Americans and women should be represented on the bench. The county is 50 percent white, and 44 percent black. Women also outnumber men by about four percent, according to the latest census.
We urge the Governor, and the Nominating Commission, to consider race and gender when selecting a new judge.
We believe our courts must be a diverse reflection of the community they serve, and that would be a fitting legacy for a jurist of Judge Allen's caliber.
WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, GA 31906
Copyright 2013 WTVM. All rights reserved.