Governor Uncertain on Court of Judiciary Revisions

Gov. Bill Haslam says he’s unsure of whether the Court of the Judiciary, which decides on discipline of judges, should be changed as proposed by Sen. Mae Beavers in a bill pending before the Legislature. Legislative hearings on the issue are scheduled in the coming week.
From Andrea Zelinski on the governor’s stand (or lack thereof):
The governor told reporters following the swearing in of a criminal appeals court judge in Williamson County Friday that the state’s legislative and judicial branches could both benefit from more and better communication with one another.
“I know there’s a lot of questions in the legislature about, is it too much of judges reviewing judges reviewing judges. I’ll spend a little bit more time on that before I really have an opinion on that,” Haslam said after the oath was administered to Judge Jeffrey Bivins.
“There are some people in the Legislature that feel like, are we getting adequate oversight? And the judiciary is like, I don’t think every time there’s a complaint there needs to be a public hearing because there’s so many complaints along the way,” Haslam continued. “I actually think it’s one of those that maybe… a little bit more dialogue might help the process on both sides.”

The governor also repeated his past support for the present system of selecting judges, wherein he appoints a judge to fill a vacancy from a list of nominees supplied by the Judicial Selection Commission.
“There’s been some controversy around the whole judicial selection process,” Haslam said before swearing in Bivins. “From where I sit, I have nothing but good things to say about the judicial selection committee and the process. Every time, I’ve had the good problem having to choose between good men and women to fill a spot. It’s an honor to get to do that.”

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