Mike Bell

Two members of a state panel considering whether Tennessee’s appointment system for selecting judges is constitutional also lead a group that lobbies on the issue. George H. Brown and William M. Barker are board members of Tennesseans for Fair and Impartial Courts, which supports the current system and opposes selection at the ballot box.

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Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey says he’s not in favor of universal pre-kindergarten but could go along with limited expansion.

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Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is indicating the time has come to consider upping the level of taxpayer dollars the state spends prepping low-income kids for kindergarten. The governor stopped short of saying he whole heartedly supports expanding publicly funded Pre-K efforts. But he told TNReport this week that as a result of the state’s ballooning […]

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State lawmakers want the power to approve or reject appointees to Tennessee’s Supreme and Appellate Courts. Another plan to ask voters to formally adopt the state’s current practice of picking judges failed this year.

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The upper chamber has voted 23-8 to revamp the current system by giving the Legislature authority to approve or reject judges the governor appoints. Last week the Senate voted 21-9 to constitutionally enshrine the current way the state empanels judges. If approved by the House, both measures would have to pass the General Assembly by two-thirds majorities next session before going before voters in 2014.

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Even though the current system has been ruled constitutional, many lawmakers have trouble getting over the nagging feeling that it really doesn’t gel with Tennessee’s governing document. And they doubt voters approve either.

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Gov. Bill Haslam, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and Speaker Beth Harwell have all said they are opposed to the popular election of judges and they now appear to be leaning toward amending the constitution to cement the current practice.

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Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, wants to revamp the body that hears ethics complaints against judges. She presided over a committee meeting this week examining the Court’s transparency and rules governing judicial conflicts of interest.

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Press Release from the Tennessee Firearms Association; June 6, 2011: Tennessee Firearms Association, Inc. Legislative Action Committee 2011 TFALAC Legislative Summary Summarized below are the bills which were enacted in 2011 from those that we tracked. None of them address any meaningful changes in the law that are significant to those who promote the 2nd Amendment, […]

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Press Release from the Republican Caucus of the Tennessee Senate, May 12, 2011: State Senate passes Civil Justice Reform and other Major Bills as General Assembly works toward adjournment (NASHVILLE, TN), May 12, 2011 – The Tennessee General Assembly worked in marathon floor and committee sessions this week towards the conclusion of the 2011 legislative […]

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By looking over the estimated price tag attached to each of the thousands of bills filed in the Legislature every session, taxpayers can at least get a sense of the numbers lawmakers are themselves working with as they deliberate what they think ought to be on state government’s to-do list.

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Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Cornelia Clark said this week she has met with leadership of the Tennessee General Assembly to discuss matters of the courts, but Clark said she is reluctant to share details of those conversations. Clark has spoken publicly recently about her opposition in general to legislative efforts to make judges run […]

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