Selection Of Judges Should Continue Uninterrupted When Tennessee Judicial Nominating Commission Expires

NASHVILLE, Tenn., June 27, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Tennessee Judicial Nominating Commission expires on Friday, June 28 and Brian T. Fitzpatrick Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University concludes in a white paper released today entitled Sunsetting the Tennessee Judicial Nominating Commission: What Now? that the selection of appellate judges and interim trial judges should continue uninterrupted when the commission expires.

He believes that no legislative action is necessary between now and November 2014 when the voters will decide whether to replace the current system for selecting judges. For those urging the legislature to restore the commission until November 2014 he offers three options that would eliminate questions about the interim process:

  1. The legislature could adopt statutes mirroring the method of selection that will be before voters in November 2014.
  2. The legislature could clarify existing statutes to make it even more apparent that the governor can appoint judges on his own in the absence of the commission.
  3. The legislature could repeal the remaining Missouri Plan statutes and revert to judicial elections as set forth in the Tennessee constitution and elsewhere in the Tennessee code.

Brian T. Fitzpatrick is a Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University, where his research focuses on class action litigation, federal courts, judicial selection, and constitutional law.  A copy of the white paper, "Sunsetting the Tennessee Judicial Nominating Commission: What Now?" can be found here:

SOURCE Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University

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