|Title:||Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 072 Ed Johnson|
|Creator||Johnson, Edward H., 1948-|
|Dates||2009 February 3|
|Repository||Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies|
|Abstract||Edward H. Johnson went to work for Zell Miller’s campaign for lieutenant governor in 1974. Upon Miller’s election, Johnson was appointed as counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee. In 1977, Johnson was elected as a Democrat to the Georgia State Senate, where he served until 1980. After his departure, he held numerous legal and judicial posts, and in 1998, he was appointed to the Court of Appeals. Johnson discusses his earily life, his time in legislature, and the judicial system of Georgia. He comments on the state of the judicial system, the importance of DNA evidence, and the death penalty.|
Reflections on Georgia Politics began in the fall of 2006 at Young Harris College, as a lecture and discussion program hosted by Georgia political veteran Bob Short. In late 2007, the Richard B. Russell Library began producing the program as an oral history video series to further illuminate and personalize the tectonic shifts that occurred in Georgia politics in the late twentieth century.
Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 072, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.
Resources may be used under the guidelines described by the U.S. Copyright Office in Section 107, Title 17, United States Code (Fair use). Parties interested in production or commercial use of the resources should contact the Russell Library for a fee schedule.
Edward H. Johnson was born September 9, 1948, in Grantville, Coweta County, Georgia. He received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Georgia State University. He earned his J.D. from Vanderbilt University, and his LL.M. degree from the University of Virginia. Johnson served as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol. In 1974, Johnson went to work for Zell Miller’s campaign for lieutenant governor. Upon Miller’s election, Johnson was appointed as counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee. In 1977, Johnson was elected as a Democrat to the Georgia State Senate, where he served until 1980. After his departure, he held numerous legal and judicial posts, and in 1998, he was appointed to the Court of Appeals.
Ed Johnson recalls his childhood in Coweta County. He enumerates his family's connections to law and the legislature and recalls his decision to be a lawyer at an early age. Johnson discusses his education at Georgia State University and Vanderbilt Law School.
Johnson discusses his interest in politics and his decision to work for Zell Miller's campaign for lieutenant governor. He recalls the difficulty and success of the campaign and explains his appointment to counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Johnson discusses his first race for the 34th District of the Georgia Senate.
Johnson recalls Miller's unpopular decision to make a Committee on Committees and his disagreement with Al Holloway regarding a pay raise for teachers. He recalls his friendship with Paul Coverdell and Jack Riley.
Johnson describes the organization of Georgia's judicial system. He recalls some of the cases he handled on the Fulton County State Court and comments on the pace of the court system in Georgia. He weighs in on judgeship and partisan politics. Johnson recalls his appointment to the Court of Appeals and explains his decision not to apply to work on the Supreme Court. He also explains how the Georgia Court of Appeals operates and discusses some of his colleagues. Johnson explains how the importance of oral argument has shifted over the years and discusses the importance of DNA evidence. He also discusses the death penalty and life without parole.
Johnson discusses his children, teaching law at Emory and Mercer, and his involvement with the Boy Scouts.