On February 4, 2009 Justice Leah Sears, the Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, gave her last State of the Judiciary address to the Georgia General Assembly. It is her last such address because she has announced she will be retiring from the bench in June of this year. Georgia lawyers will miss her, because of her absolute committment to a strong, independent Judiciary and to the Rule of Law. She is a true role model for all Georgians, especially young women like my daughter, Alex, who is now 11 years old, and who are looking for the way to make their mark on Georgia and future generations. Below I have reprinted Justice Sears’ entire State of the Judiciary Address.
Lieutenant Governor Cagle, Speaker Richardson, Speaker Pro Tem Burkhalter, President Pro Tem Williams and other members of the General Assembly. Ladies and Gentlemen. I am overwhelmed by your warm welcome.
Today I stand before this distinguished body for the last time as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia. I am both honored and humbled. I have so many of you to thank for your years of support and encouragement. And I am forever indebted to my colleagues on the Supreme Court—my friends—Presiding Justice Carol Hunstein, former Chief Justice Robert Benham, and Justices George Carley, Hugh Thompson, Harris Hines and Harold Melton. I am also grateful to my friends on the Georgia Court of Appeals, now being ably led by Chief Judge Yvette Miller, as well as all of my other colleagues in the judicial branch.