Political Tussle Over Election of Tenn. Judges

Jan 26, 2012

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's top Republicans say they want to keep the current method of choosing judges and will introduce a constitutional amendment that would require voter approval.

Gov. Bill Haslam, Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell announced Wednesday in Nashville that they oppose the popular election of Supreme Court justices and appellate court judges.

They proposed a constitutional amendment that would formalize the current system, where a commission nominates judges, the governor appoints them and voters cast ballots on whether to keep them on the bench.

Changing the Tennessee Constitution is a slow process and must be approved by voters.

Republican Rep. Glen Casada says he'll push ahead with a bill calling for the popular election of the Supreme Court.