The Federalist Society

Sunsetting the Tennessee Judicial Nominating Commission: What Now?

State Courts Project White Paper

June 26, 2013

Brian T. Fitzpatrick

Sunsetting the Tennessee Judicial Nominating Commission:  What Now?The text of the Tennessee Constitution states all judges “shall be elected by the qualified voters of the state.” Despite the unambiguous text calling for elections, two special Tennessee Supreme Courts have ruled that Tennessee’s judges can be selected by a system of appointment set forth only in statutes and known as the “Missouri Plan.” Putting to the side the question whether Tennessee’s Missouri Plan statutes are constitutional (a question which I have answered elsewhere in the negative), the purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of recent statutory changes on the existing system. 

Sunsetting the Tennessee Judicial Nominating Commission: What Now?  


The Federalist Society