Steve C. Jones

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Steve C. Jones
Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
Assumed office
March 3, 2011
Appointed byBarack Obama
Preceded byOrinda Dale Evans
Personal details
Born (1957-01-26) January 26, 1957 (age 64)
Athens, Georgia
Political partyDemocratic Party
EducationUniversity of Georgia (BBA, JD)

Steve CarMichael Jones (born January 26, 1957) is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia and a former Georgia Superior Court judge.

Early life and education[edit]

Jones graduated from Cedar Shoals High School in Athens, Georgia.[1] He received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from University of Georgia in 1978.[2] He then ran the Child Support Recovery Office for the local District Attorney for six years. Jones attended the University of Georgia School of Law and earned his Juris Doctor in 1987.[2] He went to work as an assistant district attorney.[3][4]

Georgia state judicial service[edit]

Jones served as a Municipal Court judge in Athens-Clarke County from 1993 to 1995.[1] In 1995, Governor Zell Miller appointed Jones to be a Georgia Superior Court judge for the Western Judicial Circuit, which includes Clarke and Oconee counties.[1][4]

Federal judicial service[edit]

In April 2009, Jones was one of three candidates recommended by Democratic members of the Georgia House delegation to replace judge Hugh Lawson on the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia.[5] Jones did not receive the nomination, which went to Macon attorney Marc Treadwell in February 2010.[5]

After Jones was passed over for the Middle District of Georgia, which serves his hometown of Athens, Jones received consideration for a judgeship on the Atlanta-based United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.[6] On July 14, 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Jones to replace Orinda D. Evans on the Northern District of Georgia.[7] His nomination was confirmed by the Senate on February 28, 2011 by a vote of 90 ayes to 0 nays.[8] He received his commission March 3, 2011.[4]

Notable decisions[edit]

Awaiting a decision in a Louisiana abortion case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court,[9] in October 2019 Jones issued a temporary injunction against enforcement of a new Georgia law regulating abortions that was to go into effect January 1, 2020. The law is one of the nation’s strictest as it outlaws abortion in most cases once fetal cardiac activity can be detected. After the U.S. Supreme Court ruling struck down the Louisiana abortion law,[10] on July 13, 2020, Jones issued his final order striking down the Georgia law, finding the statute violated a woman’s constitutional right to access to abortion as established by the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade. Jones wrote, “It is in the public interest, and is this court’s duty, to ensure constitutional rights are protected.”[11] The ruling reinstated Georgia's previous statute passed in 2012 allowing abortions through 20 weeks of gestation, or approximately 22 weeks of pregnancy. A spokesman for the Georgia Attorney General’s Office said the state would appeal the ruling.[11]

On December 17, 2019, Jones appeared in multiple news headlines after declining in an interlocutory order to stop a purge of 309,000 Georgia voters from the state's list of registered voters.[12][13][14][15] Jones later found that plaintiff Fair Fight Action and other plaintiffs had not shown that they were likely to prevail on the question of constitutionality, but wrote that the State of Georgia was required to conduct “additional diligent and reasonable efforts” to make people aware of the need of canceled voters to re-register, and that the plaintiffs could seek “emergency relief” utilizing a state court that was better suited to deal with the matter.[16] Georgia is one of nine states with a law allowing voters to be removed from the list of registered voters for inactivity,[12] under the latest statute anyone who has three years of voting inactivity followed by non-voting in two federal election cycles and then failing to respond to a notice mailed out by the secretary of state’s office being eligible for removal.[13] However Republican Secretary of State for Georgia, Brad Raffensperger was purging voters years before the legal deadline set in the new legislation based on a prior statute. Lawyers for Fair Fight Action contested this purge, and Fair Fight's CEO Lauren Groh-Wargo argued, "Georgians should not lose their right to vote simply because they have not expressed that right in recent elections."[12] Articles by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution added in context that Fair Fight Action has also been challenging other obstacles that have previously prevented Georgia voters from being able to vote including rejections of absentee ballots, long lines at the polls, and precinct closures that have disproportionately harmed the ability of African Americans to vote in prior years,[12][17] which could have prevented voters from voting previously and resulted in their placement on the inactive voters list. The list of past voters that Jones did not enjoin from being purged does not have any included data regarding racial disparities among the affected voters.[12]


Jones is married to Lillian Kincey, a teacher.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Allison Floyd, Obama taps Jones for federal court Archived 2010-07-18 at the Wayback Machine, Athens Banner-Herald (July 15, 2010).
  2. ^ a b President Obama Names Five to United States District Court Archived 2017-02-16 at the Wayback Machine, (July 14, 2010).
  3. ^ "Judge Jones: Judge of character Archived 2011-03-15 at the Wayback Machine," Athens Banner-Herald (March 13, 2011).
  4. ^ a b c "Jones, Steve CarMichael – Federal Judicial Center".
  5. ^ a b Joe Johnson, Jones misses out on federal bench Archived 2011-06-14 at the Wayback Machine, Athens Banner-Herald (February 27, 2010).
  6. ^ R. Robin McDonald, Athens judge eyed for bench, Fulton County Daily Report (April 20, 2010).
  7. ^ Joe Johnson, Questions now asked of judicial nominee Archived 2011-06-14 at the Wayback Machine, Athens Banner-Herald (July 16, 2010).
  8. ^
  9. ^ Prabhu, Maya T. "Ruling in case against Georgia's anti-abortion law could be weeks away". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  10. ^ Prabhu, Maya T. (June 29, 2020). "Supreme Court ruling clears way for decision on Georgia abortion law". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  11. ^ a b Prabhu, Maya T. (July 13, 2020). "Federal judge throws out Georgia's anti-abortion law". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  12. ^ a b c d e Niesse, Mark (17 December 2019). "Judge allows Georgia to purge 309K voter registrations overnight". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  13. ^ a b Fowler, Stephen (16 December 2019). "Judge OKs Purge Of 300,000 Inactive Georgia Voter Registrations". Georgia Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  14. ^ McArdle, Mairead (17 December 2019). "Federal Judge Allows Georgia to Remove 309k Voter Registrations". Yahoo! News. National Review. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  15. ^ Nadler, Ben (16 December 2019). "Judge Permits Georgia Voter Roll Purges, Plans 2nd Hearing". U.S. News & World Report. Associated Press. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  16. ^ Knowles, Hanna. "Federal judge will not reverse Georgia's decision to purge voters". The Washington Post. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  17. ^ Niesse, Mark; Thieme, Nick (13 December 2019). "Precinct closures harm voter turnout in Georgia, AJC analysis finds". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 17 December 2019.

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Orinda Dale Evans
Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia