Photo: Tennessee Supreme Court building in Nashville, Tennessee ; Photo Credit: Thomas R Machnitzki / CC
The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
Following the death of Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Cornelia Clark in September, after serving on the court for 16 years, eleven individuals have applied to potentially fill the role.
The Governor’s Council for Judicial Appointments will continue to accept applications until noon on Friday, November 25th. After which, a two-day public hearing (details below) will take place beginning on December 8th to determine the 3 finalists for the position which will then be forwarded to Governor Lee for the final appointment.
As Tennessee Representative Bruce Griffey (R-Paris) put it, “It matters who sits on the bench as a judge just as much if not more than who sits at the Capitol. We have seen that first hand right here in TN.”
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The applicants so far include:
Gingeree Smith – Smyrna, TN – private practice lawyer
J. Douglas Overbey – Knoxville, TN – current counsel at a Knoxville law firm (Owings Wilson Coleman); formerly served as a U.S. Attorney and state House member and state senator – appointed by President Donald J. Trump & confirmed by the U.S. Senate
Jeffrey Usman – Nashville, TN – law professor at Belmont University College of Law; teaches Criminal & Constitutional Law, First Amendment & State Constitutional Law
Jonathan T. Skrmetti – Nashville, TN – Chief Deputy Tennessee Attorney General – worked as a negotiator in the multibillion dollar national opioid settlement discussions, coordinated with other state attorney general offices to launch multistate antitrust suits against Google and Facebook, and managed 160 attorneys.
Kelvin D. Jones– Nashville, TN – Davidson County Circuit Court judge who faced a misconduct complaint this year.
Kristi M. Davis – Knoxville, TN – Tennessee Court of Appeals judge
Robert F. Parsley – Chattanooga, TN – lawyer at Miller & Martin law firm in Chattanooga; formerly clerked for the TN Supreme Court under Chief Justice Frank Drowota
Sarah Keeton Campbell – Nashville, TN – Associate Solicitor General and Special Assistant to the Tennessee Attorney General; formerly a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Justice Samuel Alito, Jr.
Timothy L. Easter – Nashville, TN – Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals judge appointed by Governor Bill Haslam
William Blaylock – Cookeville, TN – Chief Hearing Officer at Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Unemployment Appeals Tribunal
William Neal McBrayer – Nashville, TN – Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals judge appointed by Governor Bill Haslam
The Tennessee Supreme Court consists of five Justices who consider appeals from lower courts. All Justices are appointed by the Governor and undergo a retention vote every eight years.
Details for Public Hearing:
Date: December 8 -9, 2021
Time: both days starting at 9AM Central
Tennessee Room of the Tennessee State Library and Archives
1001 Rep. John Lewis Way North
Nashville, TN 37219
Members of the public are invited to attend the hearings. Special accommodations and/or questions can be directed to 615-741-2687
About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Directory for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com