OP-SB129Text Mike_Jacobs

Rep. Mike Jacobs

Georgia has gained a Jewish state judge at the cost of a Jewish state lawmaker.

Rep. Mike Jacobs, R-Brookhaven, was appointed to the State Court in DeKalb County on Tuesday, May 12, by Gov. Nathan Deal. The appointment takes effect as soon as Jacobs is sworn in; the swearing-in date has not been announced.

Jacobs, who has his own law practice in Sandy Springs, fills a vacancy that was created when Judge Eleanor Ross was named to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. A special election will be held to fill Jacobs’ 80th District seat in the state House.

Deal chose Jacobs and Jean-Paul Boulee, named a Superior Court judge in Stone Mountain, from a list of eight finalists the Judicial Nominating Commission created in January from 72 nominees.

Jacobs was in his sixth term in the state House, having first taken office in January 2005 as a Democrat. He was instrumental in Brookhaven’s incorporation as a city in 2012 and made headlines late in this year’s session of the General Assembly when he introduced a nondiscrimination amendment to the controversial religious liberty legislation in the House Judiciary Committee. That amendment effectively killed S.B. 129 and led to a vicious attack on Jacobs by Red State founder Erick Erickson, who made a point of criticizing Jacobs’ potential judicial appointment.

“With the ethics, auditing, procurement, tax and traffic court reforms we passed with broad bipartisan support among DeKalb legislators, it would have been difficult to surpass this year’s session of the General Assembly,” Jacobs told the Daily Report. “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of DeKalb County in this new role.”

Jacobs and wife Evan have three children. His 40th birthday is Friday.

It is believed that his judicial appointment leaves only one Jewish member of the state House of Representatives, the 86th District’s Michele Henson, D-Stone Mountain.

Catherine Bernard, who challenged Jacobs in the Republican primary last year, quickly announced her candidacy Tuesday. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis is considering a run as a Republican and that ACCESS co-chair and McKenna Long & Aldridge lawyer Matt Weiss is thinking about a run as a Democrat.