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

Wednesday, April 04, 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.

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: CARR, ROBERT JONATHAN     6502 JOYFUL DR HIXSON, 37343     18     Hamilton County          POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA CHAIJ, JONATHAN BRANDON     1950 WATERBURY LANE CHATTANOOGA, 37421     23 ... (click for more)

Funeral Is Wednesday For Meigs County Woman, 41, Killed In Wreck

Funeral services will be Wednesday for a 41-year-old Meigs County woman who was killed Friday afternoon when another vehicle ran into her car on Highway 58 in Meigs County. Troopers said Klaresha Crass swerved her GMC truck into oncoming traffic to avoid a car waiting to turn left. She hit the Chevrolet occupied by the family of Tammy Renee England Whitted, of Decatur, head-on. ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)

Worley-Powered Vols Clobber Utah State, 38-7, In Opener

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee, trying to snap out of the doldrums of four consecutive losing seasons, started its 2014 campaign in fine fashion Sunday night before a season opening sellout crowd of 102,445 that endured a heavy rain story 30 minutes prior to kickoff. And senior quarterback Justin Worley, who missed the final four games in 2013 after undergoing thumb surgery, was ... (click for more)

Lookouts Reach Southern League Northern Division Playoffs With Doubleheader Win Over Smokies

The Chattanooga Lookouts are now playoff bound after sweeping a double-header against the Tennessee Smokies  to clinch the Southern League North Division for the second half of the season. The first game of the double-header was backed by a masterful gem of a game thrown by the starter for the Lookouts, Steve Smith (W, 3-2). Smith dominated the Smokies' lineup from top ... (click for more)