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Tennessee Supreme Court

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Total Judgeships: 

5 (0 vacancies)

Political Makeup: 


Knoxville, Nashville, Jackson


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Constitutionality of Tennessee Plan Affirmed

Mon, 03/17/2014

Hooker v. Haslam: This case tested the constitutionality of the Tennessee Plan, the means through which Tennessee judges on the appellate courts are selected and stand for election. The plaintiff challenged the constitutionality of the judicial nominating commission and the retention election portion of the plan, stating that it does not allow judges to be elected by qualified voters.


The Supreme Court of Tennessee ruled in favor of the defendant, establishing that the Tennessee Plan is in accordance with the Tennessee Constitution. The Court ruled that most of the raised concerns with the plan are moot and that the retention election portion of the plan is valid because it is a statewide system.

Read the full decision here

Even if You Ace the Field Sobriety Test...

Thu, 02/20/2014

State v. Bell: Bell was pulled over by police after committing traffic violations including driving down the wrong side of a divided highway. Officers noticed a strong smell of alcohol and Bell admitted to have been drinking however, Bell successfully passed all field sobriety tests. He was convicted of a DUI anyway. Bell appealed his conviction on the basis that his passage of the sobriety tests disqualifies him from a DUI conviction.


The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the state on the grounds that a prudent individual would believe that Bell was intoxicated by looking at the evidence presented against him. The conviction was upheld.

Read the full decision here