The Georgia Supreme Court elected presiding Justice Harold Melton to succeed Chief Justice P Harris Hines.
The court announced Tuesday Melton was selected by a unanimous vote to succeed Chief Hines who plans to retire in August before his 75th birthday.
Georgia Appellate judges are required to retire before the month they turn 75 or forfeit their pensions. Melton, a former Assistant Attorney General and Governor’s Executive Council, was 39 when Gov. Sonny Perdue appointed him to the high court in 2005.