Introduction: On November 4, 2014, the Judicial Selection Amendment

(Amendment II) to the Tennessee Constitution came before the state’s

electorate. Amendment II sought to replace the role played by the Judicial

Nominating Commission by expanding the governor’s appellate judiciary

appointment power while simultaneously clarifying and codifying what is

known as the Tennessee Plan for judicial selection. Although some felt that

this amendment went directly against the measured determinations of the

state constitution’s drafters, Amendment II passed by a relatively wide

margin, thereby altering and solidifying the judicial selection process in the

State of Tennessee. While the voters of Tennessee expressed resounding

approval for the Tennessee Plan as altered by Amendment II, some

fundamental questions still remain pertaining to its potential democratic and

political effects on the impartial administration of justice in the state. A

consideration of the history of Tennessee’s judicial selection process will

bring these fundamental questions into focus and provide a baseline for

analysis of Amendment II’s future impact.

Included in

Law Commons