Bill to alter judicial elections in Tennessee filed

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February 19, 2013


NASHVILLE, Tennessee: A bill to amend the judicial appointment and election process was filed recently during the Tennessee 2013 legislative session.

Specifically, it would formalize the current system, where a commission nominates judges, the governor appoints them and voters cast ballots on whether to keep them on the bench. The Tennessee Constitution currently states that Supreme Court justices "shall be elected by the qualified voters of the state."

In January 2012 Gov. Bill Haslam, Senate Speaker and Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell announced that they would introduce the proposed legislation.[1]

The Tennessee General Assembly is required to approve a proposed amendment in two successive sessions. In the second such session, the proposed amendment must earn 2/3rds approval, however, in the first session, it only requires majority approval.


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