Tennessee’s Judicial Nominating Commission, which will cease to exist at the end of this month, is moving to play its role in naming successors to three appeals court judges who have announced they will retire more than a year from now.
The commission’s farewell performances will come in meetings June 27, 28 and 29 to select nominees to succeed Court of Appeals Judge Patricia Cottrell of Nashville, Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Joseph Tipton of Knoxville and Court of Appeals Judge Alan Highers of Memphis.
All three have announced an intention to retire effective Aug. 30, 2014, when the terms of all sitting state judges will expire following retention elections for new judicial terms on Aug. 7, 2014.
If things go according to plan, the commission will submit a slate of nominees to succeed each of the three retiring appellate judges to Gov. Bill Haslam before June 30, when the panel will “sunset,” or cease to exist.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Two Tennessee appellate court judges have notified Gov. Bill Haslam that they will not run for another term on the bench in the August 2014 retention election.
Patricia J. Cottrell, a judge on the Court of Appeals, and Joseph M. Tipton, who sits on the Court of Criminal Appeals bench, will both leave after September of next year.
The announcements come after the state legislature left Tennessee without a way to replace judges who step down or die when a commission expires at the end of next month.
Members of the soon-to-be-defunct Judicial Nominating Commission will make recommendations for replacements to give to Haslam before the panel expires. Haslam will appoint the replacements from those recommendations. Note: News release below
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Senate has voted to restore Tipton County to the upper chamber’s redistricting plan.
The West Tennessee county that is in Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris’ redrawn district, had been inadvertently omitted by the upper chamber when it passed its plan last week.
The Senate voted 22-10 on Thursday to approve a fix made earlier in the House. All votes against the measure came from Democrats.
Democrats have blamed what they call the overly hasty adoption of the GOP redistricting plan for causing the error.
The plan now heads for the signature of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, who is expected to sign it into law.
By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Thought Tennessee’s arduous redistricting process was over? Not so fast.
Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris confirmed to The Associated Press on Tuesday that Tipton County was inadvertently omitted from the upper chamber’s redistricting measure passed last week. The missing county is part of Norris’ redrawn Senate district.
The Legislature will need to pass the measure again to correct the error, Norris said. The Collierville Republican said the mistake was caught before the measure was sent to the governor for his signature, meaning lawmakers can move to reconsider their previous action.
“If it had received his signature already, that would have been problematic,” Norris said.
The language of the bill lists the areas of Shelby County that Norris would represent, but fails to mention Tipton County. Norris said it was a technical mistake akin to a typographical error but that he wanted to go through all the legislative motions again to ensure accuracy in the final product.
“Better safe than sorry,” he said.
Democratic Rep. Jimmy Naifeh, who is from Covington in Tipton County, said the mistake could have been avoided if the redistricting process has been more deliberate.
“It’s ironic that the sponsor of the bill is supposed to be representing Tipton County,” Naifeh said. “And he and the speaker of the Senate were in such a hurry to get it passed, they left Tipton County out.”
Democrats complained that the complete redistricting maps were not made publicly available until the week before the session began and that their requests to delay a vote to more carefully study the proposals were rejected.
“This is what getting in such a big hurry for show does,” Naifeh said. “And that’s all that was for, no other reason.”
The Senate redistricting plan passed on 21-12 vote in the upper chamber on Friday. The House voted 60-29 to approve the measure.