Supreme Court Justice Keith Blackwell to Speak
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Those words are familiar to most Americans as the Preamble to our Constitution, and community members are invited to hear Justice Keith R. Blackwell of the Supreme Court of Georgia speak on the nature of this important document during Reinhardt’s Constitution Day on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015, at 2 p.m. in the Bannister Glasshouse, Hasty Student Life Center on the University’s main campus in Waleska, Ga.
Blackwell, a native of Ball Ground, Ga., will be introduced by another long-time Cherokee County resident, S. Jeffrey Rusbridge, a principal with the law firm of Dyer & Rusbridge, P.C. of Canton, Ga. Rusbridge and Blackwell, who were college roommates and law school classmates, have been friends for many years.
Dr. Karen P. Owen, program director for the University’s Master of Public Administration program, has helped plan this event and hopes community members will take this opportunity to help celebrate the signing of the U.S. Constitution.
Celebrating the U.S. Constitution
“The Constitution is the Supreme law of the land, and on Constitution Day, we honor and celebrate the privileges and responsibilities we have as U.S. citizens,” Owen said. “This is a day to celebrate the ideals and freedoms, as well as the legal and governmental structure, that make the United States of America unique and exceptional.”
The event is one of many being held at educational institutions across the county on that day. Blackwell was invited to take part in event because of his family roots in Cherokee County, and because he is very well-versed in the U.S. Constitution and Georgia Constitution.
“As a justice on the Georgia Supreme Court, he is a legal expert and can provide a wealth of knowledge about the Constitution, its interpretation, and its impact on many of today’s political debates and issues,” Owen said.
“This event will commemorate the importance of one of our country’s most influential documents,” she said. “You will hear from a Justice Blackwell, a legal expert on Constitutional doctrine and interpretation, and most excitedly, learn about the Constitution’s nature and impact on society,” Owen said. “You will also learn about the Constitution’s role and influence in American society, and you can demonstrate your appreciation for the U.S. and the many freedoms secured for us by the Founding Fathers through this one document.”
Learn about Justice Keith R. Blackwell of the Supreme Court of Georgia
Blackwell now lives in Cobb County with his wife, Angela, and their three daughters. He was served on the Supreme Court of Georgia since June 25, 2012. Before that, he served as a judge on the Court of Appeals of Georgia.
The son of a non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force and a history teacher, Blackwell was valedictorian of Cherokee High School and graduated summa cum laude from The University of Georgia in 1996 with a political science degree and the highest grade-point average in his class. He then attended the School of Law at UGA, where he served as Georgia Law Review senior editor. He graduated summa cum laude from the School of Law in 1999, again as first honor graduate.
Following law school, Blackwell served as a law clerk to Judge J.L. Edmondson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He then practiced law as an associate at Alston & Bird, LLP, where he represented clients in criminal and regulatory investigations, consumer class actions and other complex commercial litigation.
In early 2003, he served as an assistant district attorney in Cobb County, where he represented the State of Georgia in several hundred felony prosecutions, including prosecutions for murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, carjacking, drug trafficking and financial crimes.
In late 2005, he joined Parker, Hudson, Rainer & Dobbs, LLP, in Atlanta as an associate and three years later, he was elected as a partner of the firm. There he focused his practice on complex commercial litigation, including contract, real estate, insurance and business-tort cases. His practice also included the representation of crime victims in connection with criminal investigations and prosecutions, the representation of brokerage firms in securities arbitration and litigation and the representation of businesses and non-profit organizations in connection with issues concerning trade secrets, computer crimes, the privacy of nonpublic personal information and other data security matters.
In 2010, Blackwell was appointed as Deputy Special Attorney General to represent the State of Georgia in litigation challenging the constitutionality of federal healthcare reform legislation.
Blackwell has been active in a number of professional and legal policy organizations. He is a member and former president and executive board member of the Board of Advisors for the Atlanta Chapter of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. He also is a member of the Cobb Bar Association and the State Bar of Georgia. He presently serves as an advisor to the State Bar Committee on Business Courts, and he has been active in the Appellate Practice Section of the State Bar as well, having served on its Committee on State Practice and Legislation. In addition, Blackwell is a master of the Joseph Henry Lumpkin American Inn of Court and the Columbus American Inn of Court.
Prior to his service as a judge, he served as a member of the Governor’s Judicial Nominating Commission and as an advisor to the House Judiciary Committee with respect to the revision of the state evidence code.
Read more about Constitution Day.