Judicial Selection on the 2014 Ballot in Tennessee

March 13, 2013

The house of representatives approved with a 78-14 vote a proposed constitutional amendment that would alter the process for selecting Tennessee's appellate judges. The senate approved the measure 29-2 in February. The legislature also approved the proposal in 2012, so it will be on the ballot in 2014. The proposal calls for appellate judges to be appointed by the governor with legislative confirmation and to stand for retention for subsequent terms. At the same time, the judicial nominating commission that currently assists the governor in choosing appellate judges is set to expire on June 30, 2013, and unless the legislature renews it, the state will be left without a process for filling judicial vacancies.