Action on Judicial Selection Expected in Both Houses Wednesday - Articles

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Posted by: Suzanne Craig Robertson on Apr 17, 2012

It appears that the stage is set for action this week that could shape the Tennessee judiciary into the next generation. On Monday night the Senate took final action in the first stage when it acted on what Senate sponsor Mark Norris called the “founders flexibility plan“ -- a constitutional amendment to authorize the legislature to use merit selection and retention elections to choose appellate judges. House action today centered on the House Finance Committee, which recommended a different plan that would end merit selection and institute legislative confirmation. Tennessee Bar Association President Danny Van Horn reiterated the TBA view, confirmed by the TBA Board this weekend, that the constitution did not need to be amended and that the proposed constitutional amendments amount to "dangerous experimentation" with the fundamentals of our government. He urged lawyers to contact lawmakers seeking renewal of the present Tennessee Plan and resisting efforts to move forward with constitutional amendments to deal with a problem that does not exist.

Read Resolutions SJR183 and SJR710. Contact information for lawmakers can be found here.