Senate approves judicial selection amendment

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Senate has approved a proposed constitutional amendment to give lawmakers the power to refuse the governor's appointments to appeals courts in Tennessee.

The chamber voted 29-2 on Thursday in favor of the measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Brian Kelsey of Germantown. If the resolution passes the House by a two-thirds margin, it will go on the ballot in next year's general election.

The measure would maintain the current system for holding yes-no retention elections for Supreme Court justices and appeals judges. But it would do away with an independent nomination commission that narrows down the list of candidates for the governor to choose from.

Republican Sens. Stacey Campfield of Knoxville and Frank Niceley of Strawberry Plains voted against the measure, arguing for contested judicial elections.

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