tennessee plan

The state’s Special Supreme Court may eventually get around to hearing a case challenging the state’s method of selecting judges. But the panel itself has to get sorted out first.

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Gov. Bill Haslam says he will appoint three new judges to a five-member panel formed to hear a case challenging the constitutionality of Tennessee’s method of selecting judges. Three original appointees stepped down over a possible conflict of interest.

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More than half the members of Gov. Bill Haslam’s hand-picked special Supreme Court have recused themselves from hearing a case to determine the constitutionality of how Tennessee selects appellate and high-court judges. Special Supreme Court Judges William Muecke Barker, George H. Brown and Robert L. Echols announced Friday they had disqualified themselves from the case […]

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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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Press release from the Senate Republican Caucus; April 4, 2012: (NASHVILLE, TN), April 4, 2012 — Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee gave approval to a major constitutional amendment resolution sponsored by State Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) to appoint state appellate judges in a manner similar to the federal model. U.S. Supreme Court justices, Courts […]

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But the constitutional amendment has a long way to go before being put to the voters. Under the bill, judges to the state’s appellate courts would be nominated by the governor and confirmed by the Senate.

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Despite opposition from the governor and both speakers, and a delay in committee, Rep. Glen Casada says he still plans to move forward with a bill requiring the election of judges. But it’s now on hold for a while. The bill, HB173, was postponed Tuesday by the House Judiciary Committee. It is scheduled to be […]

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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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Gabbing with the Guv

by Mike Morrow on April 6, 2011

Following the swearing in of Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman on Tuesday, Gov. Bill Haslam fielded questions from reporters on a range of issues. Among them were his views on the Legislature’s work in general this year, whether Tennessee should amend the state constitution to better accommodate the Tennessee Plan, the importance of prioritizing political […]

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Press Release from Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, March 29, 2011: (Nashville) — Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey today cast the tie-breaking vote to advance a bill requiring the election of all judges in the State of Tennessee, including appellate and Supreme Court justices. The 4 to 4 tie occurred in Tuesday’s Judiciary Committee meeting on […]

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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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Tennessee Chief Justice Cornelia A. Clark has publicly stated she opposes making Tennessee judges stand for election — and that she’s sharing her views on the matter with legislators. Sen. Mike Bell suggests a judge engaging in closed-door policy advocacy is akin to a politician offering ex parte input on a case under a court’s consideration.

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