Haslam, lawmakers prepare for changes to way Tenn. selects Supreme Court justices

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NASHVILLE, Tennessee — Gov. Bill Haslam and fellow Republicans in the General Assembly are putting forward plans for how to select Supreme Court justices under a constitutional amendment ratified by voters this week.

The vote largely kept the current system. Appeals judges are selected by the governor and then stand for uncontested votes on whether to retain or replace them. But the ballot measure also added a new provision in which the Legislature can reject the governor's appointments to the bench.

Haslam after Tuesday's vote issued an executive order in which he created a new Governor's Council for Judicial Appointments. The council will vet applicants and present Haslam with finalists.

Meanwhile, Senate Judiciary Chairman Brian Kelsey introduced legislation that would establish a 14-member joint committee to weigh gubernatorial appointments.

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