Ramsey: Judicial Redistricting ‘Makes Sense’ and He’ll ‘Probably’ Push It

While the Legislature rigorously adheres to the “one person, one vote” rule in drawing new district lines for itself and Congressional seats within the state every 10 years, the principle has been ignored when it comes to electing judges.
The legislative rigor, of course, is based on mandates issued by judges at both the state and federal level — starting with the landmark 1962 U.S. Supreme Court case of Baker vs. Carr, inspired by the Tennessee Legislature’s failure to go through redistricting for a half-century or so.
Federal judges are not elected, but Tennessee’s trial court judges are. Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey says it’s ironic that judges have mandated redistricting for congressional and legislative elections, but not for judicial elections. Ramsey says he’s “probably” going to push a bill for redistricting this year.
Not since 1984 has the Legislature reapportioned Tennessee’s 31 judicial districts, which draw the borders for jurisdiction of judges, district attorneys general and public defenders. Legislative and congressional districts have been overhauled three times since then.

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