TCPR Report on the Judicial Nominating Commission

August 13, 2009 7:30PM

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Center for Policy Research has compiled information on the candidates for the newly-formed Judicial Nominating Commission. The Speaker of the House and Lieutenant Governor will select the seventeen-member commission from this slate of candidates in the coming weeks. When there is an opening on the state Supreme Court or appellate court, those chosen to serve on the commission will then submit three nominees to the governor, who will select the next judge from those nominees. Although TCPR would like to see the state return to a constitutional method for selecting judges, it is imperative that the current process be conducted with transparency. Aside from the basic information provided by the Administrative Office of the Courts, this report shows each candidate’s participation in the Tennessee Bar Association and other professional bar organizations, as well any campaign contributions they have made to candidates running for local or state office since 2006. The campaign contributions are important because the advocates of this method of judicial selection claim that it eliminates politics from the system. This claim loses merit to the extent that those chosen for the commission are done so based on their political contributions. TCPR will follow up on this report once the commission has been assembled. To see a copy of this document in PDF format, click here.