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Sunday, April 15, 2012

22 or bust?

There are a few different plans trying to "Fix" our constitution regarding the way we elect/appoint/select judges. Some like the federal type selection, some like direct elections, others like the judicial selection process.

The Kelsey plan (the federal model) to give the governor appointment with legislative approval.

The Norris plan is what ever the legislature decides.

The Ford plan is regional elections of judges.

The thing is, none of the plans at this time have the support to pass. They need 50% legislative vote this year and 2/3 in the next general assembly and passage by the people.

I don't see it happening for any of them. So the question is, What happens then?

Some people think we just go back to what we have been doing. Oh contrair mon frare.

The man with an interesting hand is Sen. Mike Bell. He has the ability to re start the (questionably constitutional) judicial selection process (Also called the Missouri plan) that is currently in place. The Missouri plan is now in "wind down" meaning it will be dead next year. After that, well, who knows. Some say we will go back to direct elections as was the system previous to the Missouri plan being set up. Others think the supreme court will not allow that to happen. That they will somehow twist things around to make it so the status Que remains. They will make the constitution be as they will it. Not as it reads. Something many feel they have a strong history of doing.

Short of one of the plans passing or Bell being over run, we will find out in short order how activist our state supreme court really is.

1 comment:

  1. It is time for the TN Supreme Court to stand before the General Assembly and to explain exactly how the Legislature, under the Tennessee Constitution, has the power to create a retention-elected seat for them on the bench, other than their condescending basis of "because I said so".

    Like many, I have read the Constitutional provisions and I don't see where the authority exists. We are owed an instructional by the supporters of the Retention-Election statute as to exactly how, with time for rebuttle, it is that they believe that the statute is Constitutional.

    When all but a very few of the State's criminal cases ends up in the District Court of Criminal Appeals and we have retention-elected those judges, unconsitutionally, with voters in the uncontested elections and where two-thirds of the electorate is voting outside of the district to which the Judges have been assigned, we are faced with the proposition that the appeals court rulings, in those cases, are void. Then what do we do?

    The Supreme Court is asking, for their own personal benefit, that other public officals violate the law and violate their oaths to support the Constitution, so that they, the Judges, can have a "cheap easy way to remain in office."

    This is arguably the most irresponsible and potentially dangerous conduct by public officals that we have going today.

    What is next?


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