Excerpt from a Victor Ashe column:
It has been eight months since the special court appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam heard arguments in Nashville on the John J. Hooker lawsuit challenging the selection method for appellate judges, and there has been no decision. Why is this? Are they purposely slow-walking their decision? What is their motive?
Eight months is plenty of time for five people to write their decision (whatever it is) for a single case. Two of the five special justices are from Knoxville: former city law director Morris Kizer and former U.S. attorney Russ Dedrick.
Some wonder if the panel is waiting on the legislature to adjourn so this session cannot react to their decision with legislation. Some wonder if they plan to wait until after the constitutional amendment is voted on this November to change the judicial-selection process. There is no deadline on writing opinions for the state Supreme Court. Retiring Supreme Court Justice Bill Koch has taken as long as two years to write an opinion on cases assigned to him.
The fact is, this was a case where the opinion could have been written in days. Have they reached a decision that is unanimous or divided? One also wonders why the mainstream media has not jumped on the lengthy delay here. They should have issued an opinion months ago if they were doing their job properly.