Tag Archives: vacancy

Ten Apply for West TN Court of Appeals Seat

News release from Administrative Office of the Courts:
Nashville, Tenn. – The Judicial Nominating Commission will consider ten applicants when it meets later this month in Jackson to select nominees for the upcoming vacancy on the Tennessee Court of Appeals Western Section.
The opening is the result of Court of Appeals Judge Alan E. Highers informing Gov. Bill Haslam that he will retire at the end of his term, August 31, 2014. Because statutory provisions for the Judicial Nominating Commission expire June 30, 2013, the commission will meet this month to select a slate of candidates for Gov. Bill Haslam to choose from.
The Judicial Nominating Commission will meet Saturday, June 29 in Jackson at the DoubleTree Hotel, 1770 Highway 45 Bypass, to interview and hear public comments regarding the 10 applicants. A public hearing will start at 9 a.m. and be followed by individual interviews of all the candidates.
The commission is expected to make their selections immediately following the interviews. They will send two slates, each with three names, to the governor for his consideration.
Completed applications of all the candidates can be found on TNCourts.gov.

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Ramsey Fills Judicial Nominating Commission Vacancy

News release from Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey’:
Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville) today announced the appointment of Charles Tuggle of Memphis to the Judicial Nominating Commission. Tuggle will fill the vacancy left by the death of commission member Elizabeth Collins.
“Identifying individuals capable of rendering prudent decisions in agreement with our laws as written is important work,” said Lt. Governor Ramsey. “Charles Tuggle is an accomplished attorney and executive as well as a veteran of our armed forces. I trust that he will work well with the current members of the commission to ensure Tennessee has the best possible judiciary.”
“I appreciate Lt. Governor Ramsey giving me the opportunity to serve,” said Tuggle. “I look forward to serving my state in this capacity.”
Mr. Tuggle is currently executive vice president and general counsel for First Horizon National Corp. Tuggle practiced law for 30 years with the law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz before joining the FTN Financial division of First Tennessee Bank as chief risk officer in 2003.
Tuggle earned a bachelor of arts degree from Rhodes College and his Juris Doctorate from Emory University. Tuggle is a graduate of the Georgia State University ROTC program and served as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army.
The Judicial Nominating Commission was created in 2009 when Lt. Governor Ramsey reformed the process for selecting Tennessee’s appellate judges to provide more transparency and accountability in the judiciary. The commission has 17 members and is responsible for making judicial nominations to state appellate courts and the state Supreme Court when vacancies arise.

Note: The commission will cease to exist on June 30, but plans to select nominees for three appellate court positions before then. Previous post HERE.

Third Appeals Court Judge Announces Retirement

News release from Administrative Office of the Courts:
Nashville, Tenn. – Court of Appeals Judge Alan E. Highers has notified Gov. Bill Haslam that he will not seek re-election when his term expires August 31, 2014.
The decision creates a vacancy in Western Section of the Court of Appeal as of September 1, 2014. Due to the June 30, 2013 expiration of the statutory provisions for the Judicial Nominating Commission, the commission will meet June 29, 2013 to select nominees for Judge Highers’ anticipated vacancy.
Judge Highers is the presiding judge of the Western Section of the Court of Appeals and is the senior appellate judge in the state. He has been a member of the Court of Appeals since 1982, when he was appointed by Gov. Lamar Alexander.
A past president and executive committee member of the Tennessee Judicial Conference, Judge Highers is a graduate of Freed-Hardeman University , Lipscomb University and the University of Memphis School of Law.
“I look forward to fulfilling the remainder of my term in the service of our state,” said Judge Highers in his letter to Gov. Haslam.
Any qualified applicant interested in the seat on the Court of Appeals must be a licensed attorney who is at least 30 years of age, a resident of the state for five years, and a resident of their circuit or district for one year and must reside in the Western Grand Division.
Applicants must complete the designated application, which is available at www.tncourts.gov, and submit it to the Administrative Office of the Courts by Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at noon CDT.
The Judicial Nominating Commission will interview all qualified applicants for the Court of Appeals opening Saturday, June 29 in Jackson. This follows meetings June 27 and June 28 in the Eastern and Middle divisions for anticipated 2014 openings on appellate courts in each of those sections.
The meeting will include a public hearing in which members of the public may express their opinions about the applicants. The interview, public hearing and deliberation process will be open to the public.
For more information, visit http://www.tncourts.gov/administration/judicial-resources.

AP Story on Death of the Judicial Nominating Commission, Etc.

By Sheila Burke, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — When the legislature failed to extend the life of the Judicial Nominating Commission, it effectively ended merit-based selection of judges in Tennessee. It also left open the question of whether there is any mechanism to replace a Tennessee judge who steps down, retires or dies.
Voters will decide in November of 2014 whether they want to amend the state constitution to change the way judges are chosen in Tennessee. The amendment would give the governor the right to appoint appellate court judges, including those who sit on the Tennessee Supreme Court, followed by confirmation of the legislature.
Some lawyers warn the legislature has left Tennessee without a way to pick judges before voters go to the polls next year because the commission that is set to expire June 31 currently helps the governor select judges.
The commission was extremely unpopular among some lawmakers who believe judges ought to be elected or just didn’t like the idea of commissioners having a say in who gets to be a judge.

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Democratic Seat on Registry Board Left Empty Since April, 2011

The Registry of Election Finance has had a vacancy on its board of directors for more than a year, apparently because of a failure to communicate.
Wade Hinton of Chattanooga resigned as a member of the six-member panel in April 2011, according to registry Executive Director Drew Rawlins. He held a seat designated under state law to be appointed by the governor from a list of nominees submitted by the state Democratic Party.
Brandon Puttbrese, spokesman for the state Democratic Party, said “a pretty exhaustive search” turned up no indication that the party ever received any notice of the vacancy. David Smith, spokesman for Gov. Bill Haslam, said the administration has received no list to act upon.
The registry board’s next scheduled meeting is Sept. 5 with two potentially controversial items on the agenda — a complaint about Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett’s campaign finance disclosures and a hearing on whether Nashville businessman Andrew Miller used a political action committee as an illegal “conduit” to get around limits on political donations to legislative candidates.
“At this point, we’ll be happy to put forth names to have more Democratic oversight,” said Puttbrese after being asked about the vacancy.
The seat will remain vacant at the Sept. 5 meeting since no Executive Committee meeting is scheduled until later in the month, he said.
The board was set up to have an even balance between the two major parties. The House and Senate Republican caucuses each get an appointment and so do the House and Senate Democratic caucuses. Haslam is a Republican, but a Democrat was governor when the law was passed. Haslam gets two appointments, one from a list submitted by the Republican Executive Committee, the other from a list submitted by the Democratic Executive Committee.

Three Nominated for Middle Tennessee Judgeship

News release from Administrative Office of the Courts:
Nashville, Tenn. – The Judicial Nominating Commission met in Franklin
today to interview the 12 applicants for the Circuit Court vacancy in
the 21st Judicial District, which includes Hickman, Lewis, Perry and
Williamson counties. The vacancy was created by the appointment of
Circuit Court Judge Jeff Bivins to the Court of Criminal Appeals.
After holding a public hearing and an interview for each applicant, the
Judicial Nominating Commission has recommended the following three
candidates to Governor Bill Haslam:
Michael W. Binkley
Partner
Schell, Binkley and Davies
Franklin, Tenn.
Derek Keith Smith
Deputy District Attorney
21st Judicial District
Franklin, Tenn.
David Henry Veile
Attorney
Lowery, Lowery & Cherry, PLLC
Franklin, Tenn.
The governor may now appoint one of these candidates.