Constitutional Amendment 2
Creates a state-wide business court to lower costs, enhance efficiency, and promote predictable judicial outcomes.
“Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to create a state-wide business court, authorize superior court business court divisions, and allow for the appointment process for statewide business court judges in order to lower costs, improve the efficiency of all courts, and promote predictability of judicial outcomes in certain complex business disputes for the benefit of all citizens of this state?”
What voting “yes” or “no” means:
Voting “yes” means a new court will be created to handle certain business cases.
Voting “no” means business as usual.
Supporters say a specialized court will help move business cases faster and free up existing courts from having to handle business cases.
Opponents say they’re concerned about appointed judges who aren’t accountable to citizens.
This proposal creates a state-wide business court with state-wide jurisdiction for use under certain circumstances. It contains provisions relating to venue, jurisdiction, and powers of such court and provides for selection, terms, and qualifications of state-wide business court judges.
The intent is to remove certain resource-intensive cases from State and Superior Court dockets and speed them along in an effort to make Georgia more “business-friendly.”
This amendment would allow any party to complex litigation (lawsuits having a subject matter such as securities, antitrust, intellectual property, cybersecurity, or professional malpractice claims involving business disputes) to seek the removal of that case from the local jurisdiction in which it was filed to a state-wide business court. Jury trials, however, would take place where the lawsuit was originally filed.
Rather than being elected locally, the court’s judges would be appointed by the Governor, approved by the Senate and House judiciary committees. Judges would serve a five-year term and could be reappointed for any number of terms.
A state-wide business court could be headed by judges who have expertise in matters related to business law, could more efficiently and predictably handle business disputes, and could lower the probability that Georgia businesses get mired in damaging and costly litigation.
Fulton County already has a special court to handle business disputes, in operation since 2005.
How did the General Assembly (state legislature) vote on this?
Who gets to vote now?
All voters in the State of Georgia get to vote on this question.