The first woman to head the state’s highest court is retiring. Janice Holder will not seek reelection to the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Holder was appointed 17 years ago by then-Governor Don Sundquist. She won retention elections in ‘98 and again in 2006.
The title of “chief justice” is now a rotating position on the five-member panel. Holder held the moniker from 2008 to 2010 – becoming the first woman chief justice in Tennessee. The 63-year-old judge says in a letter to Governor Bill Haslam she will serve out her current term, which ends in August of next year.
Holder is a native of Pennsylvania but began her career on the bench in Memphis.
Chief Justice Gary Wade says in a statement that Holder “practiced the art of judicial restraint” and issued “concise, authoritative opinions.” She wrote on behalf of the majority in upholding several death penalty convictions.