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ATLANTA (AP) — A new member joined Georgia's highest court this week.

Verda Colvin was sworn in Thursday as a justice of the Georgia Supreme Court by Gov. Brian Kemp, who appointed her to the high court earlier this month and had previously appointed her to the Georgia Court of Appeals.

She is the first African American woman to be named to either court by a Republican governor. On the high court, she fills the seat vacated by former Chief Justice Harold Melton, who retired July 1.

"I vow to each Justice and every citizen of Georgia to be an avid student of the law, open and ready to continually learn from my colleagues," Colvin said in a news release from the court. "Equally as important, I will always remember that embodying the law must be tempered with remembering that people and businesses alike are the centerpiece of every opinion authored by the highest court in our state."

Before joining the Court of Appeals, Colvin was a superior court judge in the Macon Judicial Circuit for almost six years. Colvin also previously served as a state and federal prosecutor.

"We are delighted to have Verda Colvin join the Supreme Court as our newest Justice," Supreme Court Chief Justice David Nahmias said. "Justice Colvin brings us great experience and perspective, and she is a wonderful person as well. We look forward to working together to uphold the rule of law and administer the justice system in our state."

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