Nominating Commission Expediting 3 Appointments

The Tennessee Judicial Nominating Commission, which will cease to exist at the end of this month, is expediting its action on naming successors to three judges who have announced they will retire. Though the judges won’t step down for more than a year, the commission will hold hearings on their replacements and send recommendations to the governor before June 30. And in case the governor rejects the first list of candidates, the commission plans to submit two lists for each vacancy. Commenting on the situation, TBA Executive Director Allan Ramsaur said, “The failure of the General Assembly to act and create some mechanism leaving nothing in place really is irresponsible.” Despite the situation though, he said it would be preferable for the governor not to act on the new nominees but instead urge the legislature to create a new commission. “That would resolve the uncertainty now surrounding several aspects of the situation,” he said in an interview with Knoxnews. It also would avoid litigation over the appointments. “The worst case is to have the judges appointed and there then to be some decision later that their appointment was irregular…”