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More on Court of the Judiciary: A ‘Power Grab’ by Legislators?

Rutherford County Circuit Court Judge Don Ash, who serves on the state Court of the Judiciary and last week completed a four-year term as its presiding judge, tells the Daily News Journal that that the panel is working responsibly but he has no problem with efforts to improve it.
“I think it’s important that we maintain the independence of the judiciary,” Ash said, “but it’s also important that the Legislature has a say in regaArd to the discipline process. So, I believe it’s important that both of those groups have input into the membership and the disciplinary functions and the rules about how the court operates.”
Retired Judge J.S. “Steve” Daniel isn’t quite as diplomatic.
Daniel calls efforts by the Legislature to change the scope and makeup of the court a “power” grab and possibly even an attempt to “sunset,” or end, the court, which he says isn’t so much a court as a judicial disciplinary commission.
“I think it’s basically the Legislature trying to take control over who makes these decisions,” said Daniel, who presided over the Court of the Judiciary from 1999 to 2004 and served as chief disciplinary counsel from 2007 to June 2010. “I think the court is operating as it should be.”