Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam issued an executive order creating a judicial nominating panel to fill vacancies left after fellow Republican legislators let the Judicial Nominating Commission expire in June.
Haslam says the new panel was necessary to sustain the judicial branch. Attorney General Bob Cooper said last week that the governor still has the power to fill judicial vacancies despite the nomination commission’s end. The 11 members with unexpired terms from the old commission will continue to serve on the Governor’s Commission for Judicial Appointment. Haslam will appoint the remaining six.