“Georgia Supreme Court Justice Fends Off Challenger Who Made Abortion Rights a Focus”


The incumbent in the lone competitive race for a seat on the Georgia Supreme Court won re-election on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press, fending off a challenge from a former Democratic congressman who had built his campaign in the nonpartisan contest on protecting abortion rights.

Elections for the Supreme Court in Georgia are typically subdued affairs, drawing little attention, much less stirring controversy, as justices rarely face any serious opposition. Such was the case for the three other justices on the ballot on Tuesday, whose elections were uncontested.

But Justice Andrew A. Pinson was in the unusual position of having to fight to defend his seat after John Barrow, who represented Georgia in Congress as a Democrat from 2005 to 2015, entered the race.

During the campaign, Mr. Barrow said that Georgia’s Constitution guaranteed the right to an abortion, which, he argued, was not a political position but simply his interpretation of the law. Last year, the State Supreme Court upheld Georgia’s law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, though a legal fight is ongoing.

The challenge from Mr. Barrow pushed Justice Pinson and his supporters to mobilize an effort that was costly and high-profile, at least by the standards of a State Supreme Court race. Justice Pinson sought to portray Mr. Barrow as a threat to an independent judiciary, arguing that voting for his opponent was tantamount to endorsing “a system of partisan politicians in black robes.”

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