Judicial Selection in Tennessee

Supreme Court justices and judges of the Court of Appeals and Court of Criminal Appeals are appointed by the Governor. As of October 2013, the Governor's Commission for Judicial Appointments serves to screen and interview judicial candidates, then recommend three for the governor's consideration. The Commission was created by executive order to replace the Judicial Nominating Commission, which provided essentially the same service.

All appellate judges are subject to a retention election held every eight years. If a judge or justice is appointed during the middle of that eight years, they are subject to a retention vote at the next general election, and then again at the next regular retention election for a full eight-year term.

Voting Information

Election Day is August 7, with early voting beginning on July 18.  Be an Informed Voter and ensure that Tennessee's judges are selected based upon their qualifications and experience, temperament and demeanor, and demonstrated integrity.  Vote!

For more information about voting in Tennessee, visit the League of Women Voters’ Vote411 site.

Pending Proposed Changes

On the ballot in November 2014, Amendment 2 would amend the constitution to end merit selection of appellate judges and move to gubernatorial appointment with legislative confirmation.

More Information

The Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission evaluates the performance of justices and judges standing for retention and recommends to voters whether each judge should be retained. Click here for the evaluation report for judges on the ballot in 2014.

You can visit the Knoxville Bar Association or Tennessee Bar Association websites for additional judicial candidate lists.

For more information about Tennessee’s courts and judges, visit the Tennessee State Courts website.

Tennessee News

IVP Law Day Presentation in Fort Campbell

NAWJ Editorial

As part of Law Day events at the Fort Campbell Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, Tennessee Bar Association Public Policy Coordinator Josie Beets will present "Informed Voter - Fair Judges." The presentation to the attorneys and staff of the OSJA will be held at the U.S. District Courthouse in Fort Campbell on May 1st at 8 a.m.

Informed Voters Project Presentation at the Tennessee Mock Trial State Championship Awards Ceremony

NAWJ Editorial
Rebecca Blair (Tennessee Co-Chair)

Tennessee Co-Chair Rebecca Blair gave a presentation on the importance of fair and impartial courts at the Tennessee Mock Trial State Championships Award Ceremony on Saturday to over four hundred high school students, parents, teachers, and Tennessee Bar Association members.