The Georgia court sets the decision for October. 4th hearing to determine whether Fulton DA should stay on Trump case

Credit: AP

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Credit: AP

Presiding Judge Yvette Miller was initially assigned to the three-judge panel, but she recused herself from the case and was replaced by Brown. Miller is the first Black woman to serve on the appeals court and was appointed by former Democratic Gov. Roy Barnes. It’s unclear why Miller stepped down, but she will retire at the end of the year.

The three judges who will hear the case all served as trial judges before being appointed to the appeals court:

  • Markle, who was appointed to the court by the governor. Nathan Deal ’18, is a former Fulton County Superior Court judge.
  • Land, who was appointed to the bench two years ago by the governor. Brian Kemp is a former Superior Court judge in the six-county Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit of West Georgia.
  • Brown, appointed by Deal in 2018, served as a Superior Court judge in the eight-county Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit in central Georgia.

It is highly likely that the three-judge panel will hear arguments on this appeal, although the vast majority of cases heard by the court are decided without oral arguments.

Marietta attorney Ashleigh Merchant, who represents Mike Roman, one of Trump’s 14 remaining co-defendants in the racketeering case. case, said she would ask the court to hear oral arguments. In a court filing in January, Merchant was the first defense attorney to seek disqualification of Willis.

The committee is not expected to make a decision until after voters cast ballots in this fall’s presidential election.

The Georgia Constitution says the case must be decided within two terms, meaning the justices would have to rule by mid-March 2025. It’s possible the justices will agree to speed up the deadline, but most cases are decided about eight times. -half a month after their first docking, according to court observers.

The court of appeal is one of the busiest in the country. Its 15 members are nonpartisan and elected to staggered six-year terms, although most current members were appointed by sitting governors and then re-elected.

The announcement came shortly after the Fulton Superior Court clerk sent thousands of pages of briefing materials to the appeals court. Among the documents submitted: copies of the indictment, bail orders for the nine defendants who appealed, previous court documents and decisions by Judge Scott McAfee. The court also sent transcripts of the evidentiary hearing in February, which included sworn testimony from Willis and Nathan Wade, the former special prosecutor whose romantic relationship with the prosecutor prompted the defendants to withdraw the entire business office.

McAfee issued a ruling in March allowing Willis to stay on the case if Wade left the prosecution. Wade wrote his resignation letter that day, but that didn’t satisfy the defendants, who said Willis still had a conflict of interest that warranted his removal. They appealed McAfee’s decision, and the appeals court agreed last month to take up the case.

The panel will not collect new evidence. Rather, it will be a question of whether McAfee reached the correct legal conclusions.

In a statement, Trump’s lead attorney in Atlanta, Steve Sadow, said he looked forward to making arguments before the three judges on why Willis should be removed from the case.

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