Stewart to Ramsey: Give Washington-style 'court packing' the boot!

A release from Rep. Mike Stewart a few days after former Chief Justice Gary Wade said he'll retire in September:

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Stewart issues the following response to reports that Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey intends to let partisan politics dictate the choice for the next Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court.

“Until now, Tennessee Governors of both parties have picked Justices of our highest court based on merit, not politics.  For example, in 2007 Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen selected Justice Bill Koch, who had earlier served as Legal Counsel to Republican Governor Lamar Alexander.  In so doing, Governor Bredesen was following a long tradition of merit-based selection that has for decades made Tennessee Courts a model for non-partisan, fair-minded decision making.”

“Now Lieutenant Governor Ramsey has stated publicly that he wants to end all that, openly pushing for a ‘Republican Supreme Court majority’. Respectfully, the Lieutenant Governor’s position would be a wrong turn for our state.  The Courts are not intended to be just another partisan arm of government.  Our judges have an independent duty to uphold the laws passed by the peoples’ representatives – a duty that transcends the judges’ personal political beliefs.  We have seen in Washington and in other states that infusing the judicial selection process with politics has led to charges of bias and in some cases even corruption - charges that have threatened to undermine the integrity of the judiciary.  We don’t need that sort of thing here.”

“Tennesseans of both parties should oppose the Lieutenant Governor’s plan to turn the selection of our next Supreme Court justice into a Washington-style political circus; they should demand that our next Supreme Court Justice be selected on the basis of his or her qualifications and experience, not his or her ability to pass a political litmus test cooked up by Lieutenant Governor Ramsey.”


Jul 28, 2015 11:41 AM

Four weeks remain for Lundin seat applicants

Attorneys interested in filling the Bankruptcy Court bench seat that will be vacated by Keith Lundin next June have until Aug. 25 to submit their applications to the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati. The job's term is 14 years and pays more than $185,000 per year. Check out more info here.

Jul 28, 2015 7:02 AM

Wade to retire from Supreme Court

Former Sevierville mayor was chief justice from '12-'14
Jul 27, 2015 7:04 AM

Long-time bankruptcy judge to retire

Keith Lundin, one of the nation's longest serving bankruptcy judges and chief judge of the bankruptcy court of the Middle District of Tennessee, is retiring after a 34-year run.

Lundin has been local bankruptcy judge for 34 years, serving before that as the Chapter 13 trustee here. The local bankruptcy court’s Chapter 13 program is the nation’s largest based on money paid to creditors.

“It says something about our lawyers and our trustee,” he said. “Bankruptcy lawyers in the Middle District of Tennessee are among the best in the country.”

Jul 10, 2015 1:47 PM

Nine apply for new 19th Circuit judgeship

Seat covering Montgomery, Robertson counties was created this spring
Jun 15, 2015 7:16 AM

H3GM attorney to serve as Middle District of Tennessee magistrate judge

U.S. District Court taps restructuring, insolvency expert
May 22, 2015 7:09 AM

Waverly Crenshaw nominated for federal judgeship

Waller attorney would replace retiring Haynes
Feb 5, 2015 6:45 AM

Governor appoints first members of judicial appointments council

Panel created after passage of Amendment 2
Jan 13, 2015 6:46 AM

Haslam outlines new judicial selection body

The 17-member Commission is now the 11-member Council
Nov 7, 2014 7:04 AM

New AG taps Sherrard member to be solicitor general

Acting office chief Whalen to stay on in different role
Oct 24, 2014 7:03 AM