Tennessee
7:59 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Haslam Measure on Selecting Judges Awaiting Action

When the top three Republicans in the Tennessee statehouse coalesced behind a plan to cement the state's current selection process for Supreme Court justices into the state constitution, there seemed to be a smooth path ahead for getting the measure before voters in 2014.  Two months later, their proposal has made little progress as some Republican lawmakers have embraced a rival proposal, while others want to allow contested elections to take place.  A proposal is advancing in the Legislature to impose a federal-style system of having the governor make nominations to the high court's bench, and then giving lawmakers the power to confirm or reject them. Meanwhile, the sponsor of another bill calling for the popular election of appeals judges in August 2014 expects a key vote in the next two weeks.