Bobbie Patray May 10 · Nashville, TN
Let me start by saying -- unlike some of the posts I am reading, if amendment 2 is defeated, we WILL NOT HAVE DIRECT ELECTION OF JUDGES! We will go back to only the 'retention' elections like we have now for Supreme Court justices and appellate judges.
The debate about this issue was hot and heavy. As the debate unfolded in the General Assembly, there were three schools of thought: 1. Maintain retention (what we have now); 2. return to direct elections as the Constitution requires (which, for many reasons, does give me a bit of heartburn) or; 3. the compromise which is on the ballot.
It was only the compromise that could get enough votes to get through the long amending process and to get on the ballot. And while it certainly isn't perfect, I think it is much better than going back to the flawed present 'retention' process. And who knows how much longer it would be before we could get another amendment on the ballot. So there you have it.....one more case of "Politics being the art of the possible."
What was finally decided was to do something similar the the federal requirement for justices.
What the amendment will do is give Tennesseans three votes in the selection of our appellate judges:
• By voting for the governor, who will make the appointments.
• By voting for our state senators and representatives, who will confirm or reject the appointments.
• By voting to keep or fire the judges at the end of their respective terms.