Nashville, Tenn. – The Advisory Task Force on Composition of Judicial Districts will hold a public hearing in Jackson on Monday, May 20 to receive comments from those interested in sharing their thoughts on judicial districts in Tennessee. The public hearing will be held at 1 p.m. at Roane State Community College – Raider Room, 276 Patton Lane, Harriman.
The Advisory Task Force strongly encourages any interested policymakers, attorneys, or members of the public to attend and share their thoughts and concerns on the compilation of Tennessee’s judicial districts. Attendees must sign up online in advance to speak. Each speaker will be limited to five minutes. Interested parties may also submit written public comments to the Advisory Task Force for consideration. Written public comments must be submitted online. While all input and suggestions on redistricting are welcome, the Task Force has recently developed eight focus questions on which it is particularly interested in receiving feedback. The focus questions are available on the Task Force webpage.
The links below can be used to sign up to speak or to submit a written comment:
The Advisory Task Force will hold an additional public hearing in Murfreesboro on June 12. Previous meetings were held in Nashville and Jackson.
The Advisory Task Force was created on May 21, 2018 when then-Governor Bill Haslam signed into law Public Chapter 974. The Advisory Task Force has 11 members, appointed jointly by the Speaker of the Senate and Speaker of the House, “to review the composition of Tennessee’s current judicial districts.” A full list of committee members, including biographies, is available online.
Chaired by the Honorable Telford E. Forgety, Chancellor in the 4th and 5th Judicial Districts, the Advisory Task Force is charged with reporting its recommendations for “a proposed statewide redistricting plan [that provides] reasonable and timely access to Tennessee’s circuit, chancery, and criminal courts and shall promote the efficient utilization of publicly funded resources allocated for the courts.” The plan must be published by December 1, 2019.
Tennessee currently has 31 judicial districts, ranging from nine single-county districts to a six-county and a seven-county district, and 158 trial-level judges. Each district also has an attorney general office and public defender office. In 2018, the Tennessee General Assembly passed legislation that created three new judge positions. The new positions were in the state’s 19th Judicial District, which serves Montgomery and Robertson counties; the 16th Judicial District, which includes Rutherford and Cannon counties; and the 21st Judicial District, which includes Hickman, Lewis, Perry, and Williamson counties.