ATLANTA – The Georgia Supreme Court hosted a ceremony for the unveiling of a commemorative portrait of former Chief Justice Harris Hines on Thursday.  

A quintessential Atlantan, Hines attended Midtown (formerly Grady) High School and Emory University, where he majored in political science. He graduated from Emory Law School in 1968. He then moved to Cobb County, where he lived for the rest of his life. 

Hines began his judicial career when then-Gov. Jimmy Carter appointed him to the Cobb County State Court in 1974.   

Hines went on to win a seat on the Cobb County Superior Court before then-Gov. Zell Miller appointed him to the Georgia Supreme Court in 1995. 

Georgia-born artist Suzanne Royal painted the portrait. The portrait unveiling was originally slated to take place in spring 2020 but was postponed by COVID.  

“I truly believe you caught his twinkle,” said Hines’ daughter, Mary Margaret Hines Doyle, of the portrait.  

Another former Chief Justice, Harold Melton, described Hines’ “commitment and fidelity to the law,” saying his mentor was “enraptured’ by the law.  

Hines also set a congenial tone on the court, Melton said.  

“The legacy that continues today is a legacy of each justice being a complete justice, bringing their full thoughts, having honest opinions, and then having time together in real fellowship,” Melton said of Hines’ impact on the Supreme Court.  

Melton also paid tribute to the support Hines’ widow Helen provided the justice over their long marriage.  

It was Mrs. Hines who encouraged her husband to reach out to Melton after Melton was featured in the Marietta Daily Journal for his work in student government at Auburn University. 

Hines took Melton out to lunch, starting a mentorship that would last for years.   

“Hard work, courtesy, integrity, and kindness are the real legacy Harris leaves,” said Mrs. Hines of her late husband.  

Hines served on the Supreme Court until 2018, resigning in August of that year. He was killed in a car crash a mere two months later.

This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.