HOW ARE APPELLATE COURT JUDGES ELECTED IN TENNESSEE?
- In 2014, Tennesseans voted on changing the process of how appellate court judges are elected.
- This new system applies to the Tennessee Supreme Court, the Tennessee Court of Appeals, and the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals.
- The governor selects his own nominees to the courts (without the input from the Judicial Nominating Commission as he formerly did)
- The nominee must then be confirmed or disapproved by the General Assembly
- Appellate court judges serve an 8 year term
- At the next general election and at the end of every eight-year term, voters' input is limited to deciding whether each judge shall be retained through a yes-no election.
- At the first statewide general electionfollowing his or her appointment, the judge’s name is placed before the public on the ballot on a simple yes-no basis, e.g., "Shall Jon Smith be elected and retained as Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, for Middle Tennessee?" If a majority of voters decides this question in the negative, the process outlined above starts over.
- If you vote YES to retain, that judge serves another 8 years unless he/she retires or otherwise leaves office
- If you vote NO, do not retain, the governor then chooses a new nominee to replace that judge
Judges with expiring terms
This is a list of the judges who must stand for retention election in 2022 in order to remain on the bench. Judges may choose not to stand for election. The list is subject to change if judges retire or are appointed. The Nashville Bar Association has released a poll of its members on judicial retentions and you can view the results here.
Tennessee Supreme Court Justices
This is the political composition of the supreme court heading into the 2022 election.
Tennessee Court of Appeals
Frank G. Clement Jr. is a judge on the Tennessee Court of Appeals, Middle Section. He was appointed to the court by Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen in September 2003. He was then retained in 2004, 2006, and 2014.
John W. McClarty is a judge on the Tennessee Court of Appeals, Eastern section. He was appointed in 2009, by Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen and retained to the court in 2010. McClarty is the first African-American state judge to serve Eastern Tennessee. He was retained again in 2014.
Carma Dennis McGee is a judge of the Tennessee Court of Appeals Western Section. In 2019, Gov. Bill Lee (R) appointed McGee. Her current term ends on September 1, 2022, but she is on the ballot in the retention election on August 4, 2022.
Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
■ John W. Campbell
■ James Witt
■ Norma McGee Ogle
■ Robert H. Montgomery
■ D. Kelly Thomas
■ Robert L. Holloway
■ Timothy L. Easter (former Williamson County judge)
■ Robert Wedemeyer
■ Jill Ayers
■ John Everett Williams
■ J. Ross Dyer
■ Camille McMullen
For more information on our courts and judges: https://tncourts.gov/