Judicial Appointment Challenge in Tenn. Fails

     (CN) – The 6th Circuit dismissed an appeal challenging the constitutionality of the way Tennessee appoints its Supreme Court justices.

     The method drew criticism from Drew Johnson, president of the conservative Tennessee Center for Policy Research, and former Democratic gubernatorial nominee John Jay Hooker.
     Johnson and Hooker claimed the appointment process deprived them of their right to vote on the Supreme Court candidates in a popular election.
     Under the state’s plan, the governor selects a justice from a panel of three candidates presented by a judicial selection committee. The governor’s pick is then put before voters in the next election. Every eight years, voters decide whether to keep sitting justices for another term.
     The magistrate judge dismissed the challenge for lack of jurisdiction, and the Cincinnati-based federal appeals court affirmed.
     “The plaintiffs have not alleged an injury sufficient to confer standing” and “have failed to assert a ‘particularized stake in the litigation,'” wrote U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett, who took part in the panel decision.
     “Therefore, the district court did not have jurisdiction over the plaintiffs’ Fourteenth Amendment claims, and dismissal was proper.”

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