ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears, the first
black female to head the state's top court, said she will step down
next year as her term as the court's leader ends.
53-year-old Sears has served on the Georgia Supreme Court
She said she will instead seek jobs in the private sector, perhaps as a university president or at a civil rights law firm.
Sears has been mentioned as a potential U.S. Supreme Court nominee and did not rule out an eventual return to the public sector.
She won re-election three times becoming the first woman to win
statewide election in Georgia.
Sears has won accolades for presiding over one of the more
productive state appellate courts in the nation.