Haslam appoints special panel to hear judge lawsuit
Gov. Bill Haslam appointed a special Supreme Court to sort through a long-running court battle over how judges are chosen in Tennessee.
Haslam named three former judges and two other attorneys to handle an appeal filed by former Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Nashville lawyer John Jay Hooker that challenges the makeup of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Hooker says the court violates the state constitution because members are initially appointed by the governor.
Hooker asked members of the state Supreme Court to recuse themselves from the case because they are also appointed by the governor. Eleven of 12 appeals court judges have also dismissed themselves.