Frank Cagle devotes his column this week to the proposed state constitutional amendment setting up a retention election system for Tennessee’s top judges and to what happens if voters reject the plan next year
In proposing the amendment, the Legislature is acknowledging that it believes the current system to be unconstitutional. What happens if the voters refuse to pass the amendment?
The state’s appellate judge selection will be in limbo, says the author of the amendment, state Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Collierville. Kelsey says he doesn’t believe there is any consensus in the Legislature for any other alternative.
But if the voters reject the amendment, conservatives will likely bring a bill to call for the election of judges to the courts of appeal and the state Supreme Court. A bill could be brought to require judges who are retained in the 2014 election, instead of having an eight-year term, having to face popular election in 2016.
…I think the situation is pretty accurately summed up by an off-the-record response from an amendment supporter when asked the question: What happens if the constitutional amendment fails?