Senate passes judicial selection overhaul

On May 28, 2009, in News 2009, by Mark Norris

By Tom Humphrey,
May 28, 2009

NASHVILLE — After extended debate, the Senate voted 27-5 today to set up a revised system for selecting the state’s top judges.

Approval of SB1573 came after the Senate defeated an amendment by Sen. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, that would have required popular election of the state’s Supreme Court justices and appeals court judges. The vote was 12 for the amendment, 22 against.

Senate Republican Leader Mark Norris portrayed SB1573 as a temporary compromise to a controversy that has gone on for years, more intensely in the past year.

As things stand now, the Judicial Selection Commission will cease to exist on July 1. Under the current system, the commission nominates three persons for a judicial vacancy and the governor must pick one of them.

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