By Mark Engler | TNReport
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – You wouldn’t really know it by the results of a recent vote in the state Senate, but Republicans in the Legislature are still split over a proposal to alter the Tennessee Constitution to change the way judges are selected.
Disagreement among the GOP supermajority likely won’t stop the measure from making its way to the general election ballot in November 2014, but it could signal that advocates for the change face an uphill battle convincing conservative voters that it’s the right thing to do.
Last week senators overwhelmingly approved a state constitutional amendment that would institute a new system for selecting Tennessee Supreme Court and appellate judges. Senate Joint Resolution 2, which passed 29-2 on Feb. 21, outlines a plan similar to that used by the federal government, wherein the president nominates judges and the United States Senate confirms or denies. It now heads to the House, where, like in the Senate, it must receive the support of two-thirds of the body in order to secure a place on the ballot.