3 judges on special TN Supreme Court panel recuse themselves
Three justices selected to serve on a special state Supreme Court to hear a suit concerning Tennessee's system for selecting appeals court judges have recused themselves. Governor Bill Haslam appointed the 5-member panel after all the sitting state Supreme Court justices recused themselves from the case. The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports the judges are former Chief Justice William "Mickey" Barker, former Supreme Court Justice George Brown and former U.S. District Court Judge Robert Echols. The lawsuit contends Haslam's appointment of a criminal appeals court judge last year violates the state constitution. It is on appeal after the state Court of Appeals in July reversed a portion of a lower court's ruling. Two-time Democratic Party gubernatorial nominee John Jay Hooker filed the lawsuit.