(State Senator Ken Tager’s office) A resolution allowing voters to change the way Tennessee’s Attorney General is selected was approved on Tuesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Senate Joint Resolution 1, sponsored by Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Ken Yager (R-Kingston), calls for a transparent nomination process by the Tennessee Supreme Court in selecting the State Attorney General, followed by a confirmation vote of the nominee by a majority of both houses of the Tennessee General Assembly.
“This is one of the most important appointed positions in the state,” said Senator Yager. “The State Attorney General has over 340 employees and a budget of over $50 million, not to mention the important decisions that are made which affect the lives of the people of Tennessee.”
The 1870 constitution required Supreme Court judges be elected by Tennessee voters. Yager said the current system of appointing justices means the selection of the State Attorney General is twice removed from the public. Tennessee is the only state in which the State Supreme Court appoints the attorney general. The votes taken by the court on nominees are not currently disclosed to the public.
The resolution, which was approved by the 111th General Assembly in 2019, must receive a two-thirds majority of the 112th General Assembly under the Tennessee Constitution. Once on the ballot, constitutional amendments must receive a majority of votes cast in the gubernatorial election in 2022.