Cornelia Clark

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Cornelia Clark
Court Information:
Tennessee Supreme Court
Title:   Justice
Salary:  $177,000
Appointed by:   Gov. Phil Bredesen
Active:   2005-2022
Chief:   2010-2012
Past post:   Administrative director, Tennessee Courts
Past term:   1999-2005
Personal History
Born:   9/15/1950
Undergraduate:   Vanderbilt University, 1971
Law School:   Vanderbilt School of Law, 1979
Grad. School:   Harvard University, 1972
Candidate 2014:
Candidate for:  Supreme Court
Position:  Retention
State:  Tennessee
Election information 2014:
Incumbent:  Yes
Election date:  8/7/2014
Election vote:  55.3%ApprovedA

Cornelia A. Clark is an associate justice on the Tennessee Supreme Court. She was appointed to the court by former Governor Phil Bredesen in September 2005 and was elected in August 2006. She was retained in 2014 for a term that expires in 2022.[1]

From 2010 to 2012, Clark served as the chief justice of the court.[2][3]



See also: Tennessee Supreme Court elections, 2014
See also: Tennessee judicial elections, 2014
Clark was retained to the Tennessee Supreme Court with 55.3 percent of the vote on August 7, 2014.[4][5]

The state's Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission recommended Justice Clark be retained for another term.[6]


Senate Speaker and Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey lead a conservative effort to unseat the three justices up for retention in 2014: Justices Gary R. Wade, Cornelia Clark and Sharon Lee. Retentions are typically a shoo-in. Only one of the state's supreme court justices has ever been voted out of office; Justice Penny White was ousted in 1996. The justices and their supporters campaigned as the group Keep Tennessee's Supreme Court Fair. All three narrowly won retention.[7][8]

For a more comprehensive look at issues and news surrounding this election, see: Tennessee Supreme Court elections, 2014.


Clark received her B.A. degree from Vanderbilt University in 1971, her M.A.T. from Harvard University in 1972, and her J.D. from the Vanderbilt School of Law in 1979.[9]


After graduating from law school, Clark went into private practice until 1989. That year, she joined the 21st Circuit Court. In 1999, Clark was appointed administrative director of the Tennessee Courts. She was appointed to the Tennessee Supreme Court in 2005.[1]

Awards and associations


  • 2005: Liberty Bell Award, Williamson County Bar Association


  • 2006-Present: Chairman, Tennessee Judicial Council
  • 2004-2005: Board of directors, Conference of State Court Administrators
  • 1997-1998: Vice president, Tennessee Judicial Conference
  • 1997-1998: Dean, Tennessee Judicial Academy
  • Member, Tennessee John Marshall American Inn of Court
  • Member, Harry Phillips American Inn of Court
  • Member, National Association of Women Judges
  • Founding member, Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women [1]

Political ideology

See also: Political ideology of State Supreme Court Justices

In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan ideology of state supreme court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns. A score above 0 indicated a more conservative leaning ideology while scores below 0 are more liberal. Clark received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of -0.4, indicating a liberal ideological leaning. This is more liberal than the average CF score of -0.02 that justices received in Tennessee. The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature). This study is not a definitive label of a justice, but an academic gauge of various factors.[10]

See also

External links


TennesseeUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of TennesseeUnited States District Court for the Middle District of TennesseeUnited States District Court for the Western District of TennesseeUnited States bankruptcy court, Eastern District of TennesseeUnited States bankruptcy court, Middle District of TennesseeUnited States bankruptcy court, Western District of TennesseeUnited States Court of Appeals for the Sixth CircuitTennessee Supreme CourtTennessee Court of AppealsTennessee Court of Criminal AppealsTennessee Circuit CourtTennessee Chancery CourtsTennessee Criminal CourtTennessee Probate CourtTennessee General Sessions CourtTennessee Juvenile CourtTennessee Municipal CourtTennessee countiesTennessee judicial newsTennessee judicial electionsJudicial selection in TennesseeTennesseeTemplate.jpg