Ex-US attorney general on judge selection panel

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is one of five new members on a panel that nominates candidates for Tennessee's appeals courts and Supreme Court.

Gonzales was appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam along with Jesse Cannon, Jimmie Carpenter Miller, Cheryl Rice and Amy Weirich.

The Governor's Commission on Judicial Nominations was created by executive order earlier this month as a stop-gap measure after the Legislature let the Judicial Nominating Commission expire in June.

A proposed constitutional amendment would make the panel unnecessary by giving the governor the power to select judges, subject to approval from the Legislature. That amendment will be on the ballot next year.

The new commission is virtually identical to the old one, and 12 of the new panel's 17 members served on the old panel.

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