Haslam Still Hoping to Avoid Popular Judicial Elections

Governor Bill Haslam says it’s alright if lawmakers dump a proposal he’s touted and instead rework how the state picks judges. Haslam says their alternative still does what he wants, which is avoid opening the office of judge in Tennessee to popular election.

Earlier this spring Haslam called to cement the current system, where he appoints judges who then face up-or-down votes every eight years to keep their jobs. Haslam’s effort has been slow-moving, while this week the Senate Judiciary committee green-lighted a competing measure.

Similar to the federal system, it would subject judicial appointees to Senate cnofirmation, instead of retention elections. Haslam says that works too:

“I’m okay with that approach. I’m not in favor of popular elections – either the federal model, or taking what we do in Tennessee and providing clarity.”

Haslam says while Republicans are divided over the matter, he expects some consensus to emerge in the next few weeks.

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