Janice Holder

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Janice M. Holder
Court Information:
Tennessee Supreme Court
Title:   Former justice
Appointed by:   Gov. Don Sundquist
Active:   1996-2014
Chief:   2008-2010
Succeeded by:   Holly Kirby
Past post:   Judge, Thirtieth Judicial District, Tennessee
Past term:   1990-1996
Personal History
Born:   8/29/1949
Undergraduate:   University of Pittsburgh, 1971
Law School:   Duquesne University School of Law, 1975

Janice M. Holder was an associate justice for the Tennessee Supreme Court. She was appointed to the court by former Governor Don Sundquist and assumed office in December 1996. She was re-elected to the court in 1998 and 2006. Holder retired at the end of her last term on August 31, 2014.[1][2] She was succeeded by Justice Holly Kirby.[3]

Holder served as the chief justice from September 2, 2008, to August 31, 2010, and was the first woman in the history of the Tennessee Supreme Court to serve in this office.[1][4]


Holder received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1971 and her J.D. degree from the Duquesne University School of Law in 1975.[5]


Upon graduating from law school, Justice Holder clerked for Judge Herbert Sorg, then chief judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. From 1977 to 1990, she worked as an attorney in private practice and moved to Memphis. In 1990, Holder was elected to the 30th Judicial District Circuit Court. In 1996, she was nominated to the Tennessee Supreme Court, and began her term there in December 1996.[6]

Awards and associations


  • 1992: Charles O. Rond Outstanding Jurist Award
  • 1992: Divorce and Family Law Section Judge of the Year Award
  • 1990: Sam A. Myar Award, Memphis Bar Association [6]


  • 1995-1999: Trustee, Tennessee Bar Foundation
  • 1996-1999: Secretary, Tennessee Bar Foundation
  • 1995-1997: Master of the Bench, Leo Bearman Sr. American Inn of Court
  • 1994-1996: Chair, Tennessee Bar Association Commission on Women and Minorities
  • Founding member, Tennessee Lawyers' Association for Women [6]

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. Holder received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of 0.4, indicating a conservative ideological leaning. This is more conservative 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.[7]

See also

External links