Justice Keith R. Blackwell was appointed to the Supreme Court of Georgia on June 25, 2012 by Governor Nathan Deal. Before that, he served as a judge on the Court of Appeals of Georgia, where he was appointed by Governor Sonny Perdue on November 1, 2010. Justice Blackwell is a native of Cherokee County and now lives in Cobb County with his wife, Angela, and their three daughters.
The son of a non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force and a history teacher, Justice Blackwell was raised in Ball Ground. After graduating as valedictorian from Cherokee High School in Canton, Justice Blackwell was awarded a University of Georgia Foundation Fellowship. He attended the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Georgia, where he was enrolled in the Honors Program and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He graduated summa cum laude from the College of Arts and Sciences in 1996 with a degree in political science and as a First Honor Graduate, having the highest grade-point average in his graduating class. Justice Blackwell then attended the School of Law at the University of Georgia, where he served as Senior Editor of the Georgia Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He graduated summa cum laude from the School of Law in 1999, again as First Honor Graduate.
Following his graduation from law school, Justice Blackwell served as a law clerk to Judge J.L. Edmondson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Justice Blackwell 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. Beginning in early 2003, Justice Blackwell 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.