Justice Keith Blackwell spoke to the Rome Rotary Club on Thursday.
A former judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals, Blackwell was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to the Supreme Court on June 25 to fill the term of George H. Carley, who resigned.
Georgia Supreme Court justices are normally elected. Blackwell will not have to run for election until 2014.
In response to a question from a member of the Rotary Club, Blackwell noted pros and cons to the federal method of appointing judges for life.
“It does insulate judges from political situations,” Blackwell said. “But it makes them no longer accountable to the people.”
But there are downsides to electing judges, he said.
First, not a lot of people pay attention to judicial races. Second, it costs a lot of money for judges to run for office.
“It puts judges in the awkward position of having to raise money,” he said.
Blackwell said he often advises voters to talk to attorneys they may know when making up their minds as to who to elect to the bench.
“You have to make your own decision,” Blackwell said. “Part of that decision could be to talk to some lawyers.”