Bill To Allow Tennessee’s Governor To Select State’s Attorney General Approved By Judiciary Committee

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Legislation sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) that would allow Tennessee’s governor to appoint the state attorney general was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.  Tennessee is the only state in the nation that allows the State Supreme Court to select the attorney general.  The other states either call for popular election or the attorney general is selected by either the governor or the state legislature. 

“Tennessee is the only state in the nation in which the people have neither a direct nor indirect voice in the selection of their attorney general,” said Senator Beavers.  “When Tennessee’s Constitution was written calling for selection by the Supreme Court Justices, the court was popularly elected, meaning there was at least a minimal measure of accountability to the people.  Under the Tennessee plan, the Supreme Court is no longer popularly elected, leaving Tennesseans with absolutely no accountability for this important office. 
 

“Not only does this system lack accountability to the people, such a role indicates an obvious conflict of interest between the Supreme Court and the attorney general as he or she is responsible for cases at the appellate court level in Tennessee. The attorney general is required to present and argue cases before the very body, the state Supreme Court, which appointed that individual to office.”

Senate Joint Resolution 693 sponsored by Senator Beavers would amend the state’s Constitution to allow the governor to appoint the attorney general for a four-year term subject to legislative confirmation.  If a vacancy arises, the resolution calls for the state’s solicitor general to serve until an appointment is made by the governor.  The legislation also requires the attorney general be at least 30 years old, a licensed attorney in Tennessee, a U.S. citizen and a resident of the state for at least seven years preceding the appointment.   

The resolution requires a simple majority by the 107th General Assembly currently in session and must receive two-thirds approval by the 108th, which will take office in 2013.  If approved, the question would then go to voters in a statewide referendum in November 2014.
 
“The current system of selecting our state’s attorney general defies the checks and balances that are needed for our justice system,” said Senator Beavers.  “I am sure that this is a key reason that 96 percent of the rest of this nation have a better system for election or appointment.”
 
The bill now goes to the Senate Finance Committee before moving to the floor of the Senate for final consideration.

Upcoming City Council Agenda For Tuesday

Here is the agenda for the upcoming City Council meeting on Tuesday: I. Call to Order. II. Pledge of Allegiance/Invocation (Councilman Smith). III. Minute Approval. IV. Special Presentation. V. Ordinances – Final Reading: PLANNING a. 2015-038 Gabe Thomas of Collier Construction and Tammy Development Company, LLC (M-1 Manufacturing Zone to R-T/Z ... (click for more)

Prize Scam Reported In Bradley County

Another scam has been reported in Bradley County by a citizen who voiced concerns that other people could become a victim of the hoax. The citizen received a check in the mail for $4,450, the prize he received for winning the “UK & North America Customer Reward Sweepstakes.” The letter had instructions to call a phone number for details on paying the tax liability of $2,800. ... (click for more)

The Heart Of A Teacher Makes A Difference

In less than four weeks, I expect to be one of 216 graduating seniors from East Hamilton School. One could say all possible variables help a student rise to the highest levels in school; but a student is more than his environment or genetic code. He is a mixture of his own propensity and dedication to academics, coupled with a systemic team of mentors who give their all as a student’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Old Hickory’ Is Toast

There is a group of women in New York, all savvy and a bit stealthy, who are plotting to kick Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, to the curb. They claim “Old Hickory” is a lout and that he is personally responsible for the embarrassing T-shirts that read, “Sure, you can trust the government … just ask an Indian” ($14.99, Amazon) Their plan is to take ... (click for more)

Soddy-Daisy No. 1 Seed For 5-AAA Baseball Tourney

Soddy-Daisy heads into next week’s District 5-AAA baseball tournament as the No. 1 seed, but the outcome of Wednesday night’s Bradley Central-Ooltewah game determined the final two seeds still up for grabs. The Trojans (17-8 overall, 10-2 in the district), breezed to the regular season title with a three-game edge over No. 2 East Hamilton and earned the tournament’s top spot ... (click for more)

Willingham's Two-Hitter Leads Bucs Past Silverdale, 5-0

Brandon Willingham was hesitant to say that Thursday's game with Silverdale was his best effort of the year, even though the hard-throwing right hander limited the Seahawks to just two hits in six innings as Boyd-Buchanan posted a 5-0 victory on a day when the Buccaneers played at home for only the second time this season. Maybe the 17-year-old junior wasn't his best, but he ... (click for more)