New ethics rules for Tennessee state judges require them to take action if they believe another judge or attorney is working under the influence of drugs or emotional or physical distress.
The Tennessee Supreme Court adopted the new rules this week. Last year, a Knox County judge resigned because he had been addicted to prescription painkillers that he was buying illegally. In addition to the new ethics rules, the court also adopted a procedure for pursuing the recusal of a judge and a new process for getting an expedited appeal if a motion for recusal is denied. All the changes take effect Sunday.