Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and Victor Ashe, a former state senator, former Knoxville mayor and one-time U.S. ambassador to Poland, criticized the the Supreme Court’s decision to select a state attorney general in private deliberations after private interviews with six candidates, reports the Chattanooga TFP.
“I don’t necessarily like the fact that they’re apparently going to make the decision behind closed doors,” Ramsey told reporters.
…Ashe called the closed sessions “unfortunate” and added it “represents a missed opportunity for the court to be transparent as pledged by more than one of them during the recent campaign.”
“The process has been 20 percent open and the rest closed,” Ashe said, adding that state lawmakers ought to look at legislation making the process more open.
Note: Here’s the text of Ashe’s statement on the matter, sent via email:
The decision by the Supreme Court to hold closed sessions on the choice of the Attorney General is unfortunate and represents a missed opportunity for the Court to be transparent as pledged by more than one of them during the recent campaign.
The process has been 20 percent open and the rest closed. Tennesseans were not told by what vote the Court voted for closed sessions or by what vote two candidates were removed from the ballot.
The University of Tennessee a few years back choose its President in the open and he is still there. Why not the state Attorney General who makes public policy?
This makes the process political despite comments to the contrary.
I hope the General Assembly will enact legislation extending the open meetngs law to the deliberations of the Supreme Court when they meet in their unique role to choose the Attorney General. The public needs to be part of that process.