Judge Franks to Retire

Tennessee’s longest serving state judge, Herschel P. Franks, who is presiding judge of the Court of Appeals, will retire from the court on Dec. 31. In an editorial, the Times Free Press praises Franks, saying "few have labored as fruitfully or as long on the bench, or earned as much respect and acclaim among their peers" as he has. In one notable case Franks, 83, ruled that the Tennessee Constitution's provision barring ministers from serving in the legislature and as delegates to state constitutional conventions violated ministers' civil rights under the U.S. Constitution. In another, he overturned traditional medical standards for keeping alive patients in an irreversible vegetative state.