Tennessee’s highest court is the Tennessee Supreme Court. The court has four justices and one chief justice, who is chosen by a majority of the court’s members. (Source: Tennessee Constitution)
The governor nominates Tennessee Supreme Court justices from a list provided by a judicial nominating commission. The governor’s nominee must be confirmed by a majority of the state House and Senate. After at least 30 days on the court, a justice may stand in an unopposed yes/no retention vote at the time of Tennessee’s next general election. Justices serve eight-year terms unless they were first appointed to fill an unexpired term, in which case they serve the remainder of the unexpired term. Justices may stand for additional eight-year terms in the same retention process. When a seat becomes open in the middle of a justice’s term, the governor nominates a candidate from a list provided by a judicial nominating commission. The nominee must be confirmed by a majority of the state house and senate. There are no term limits, nor is there a mandatory retirement age.
Tennessee has had three state constitutions adopted between 1796 and 1870. As of January 1, 2022, it had 43 amendments. (Source: Council of State Governments)
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