Wed
Aug 13 2008
09:29:am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

The Maryville Daily Times says Judge Duggan will be sworn in on Sept. 1 and County Commission will appoint his replacement for General Sessions Court judge.

Read the Tennessee law governing appointments at this comment, particularly TCA 5-1-104 (b) (2) which says "If the vacancy occurs less than sixty (60) days before the August election but sixty (60) days or more before the November election, then nominees of political parties shall be selected by party convention and a successor elected in the November election."

Sept. 1, the day the vacancy will occur, is 64 days before the Nov. 4 election, right? Doesn't that mean there should be party conventions and a November election for the new General Sessions Judge?

Topics:

TCA 5-1-104(b)

Mr. Neal:

Does thou refer to TCA 5-1-104(b) which reads in pertinent part:

"If the vacancy occurs less than sixty (60) days before the August election but sixty (60) days or more before the November election, then nominees of political parties shall be selected by party convention and a successor elected in the November election."

From the reading of this provision, then it would appear that a party convention process is necessary and thus a November 2008 election for the new sessions court judge. I have not examined case law interpreting 5-1-104(b), but you point appears to be on point.

All my best.

Tom Mabry

Thomas F. Mabry
P. O. Box 52385
Knoxville, TN 37950

Fax 1-888-215-3119
Phone 1-865-671-0598

Mr. Mabry - I must

Mr. Mabry -

I must respectfully disagree with your statutory interpretation. The plain language of the statute requires two conditions precedent before a November election would be appropriate. First, the vacancy must occur "less than sixty (60) days before the August election..." Second, the vacancy must also occur "sixty (60) days or more before the November election."

In this case, as R. Neal points out, the vacancy will occur on September 1, which is more than 60 days before the November election. This satisfies the second condition precedent. However, the first condition precedent of the statute is not satisfied. The vacancy in this instance is after the August election, not "less than sixty (60) days before the August election..."

By virtue of the legislature's use of the conjunction "but", both conditions must occur before a November election would be required. I also have not examined case law interpreting this statute, but do you disagree with this text based analysis?

Of course the statute as a

Of course the statute as a whole, particularly subsection (b)(1), could be interpreted as requiring the county commission to appoint a successor on Sept. 1, with the apointee only serving until the the next general election, which is in November.

Any thoughts?

Mr. Mabry - After looking at

Mr. Mabry -

After looking at the whole statue in context (instead of just a snippet), I agree with you and R. Neal...

This will be interesting to see what happens

Way are they afraid?

The BC GOB Chair is quoting the TN Constitution in today's DT article (link...)

"No special election shall be held to fill a vacancy in the office of Judge or District Attorney, but at the time herein fixed for the biennial election of civil officers; and such vacancy shall be filled at the next Biennial election recurring more than thirty days after the vacancy occurs."

Why are they so afraid to have an election to fill Duggan's seat?

Why afraid?

SeeJaneRide

Mello--you ask: Why are they so afraid to have an election to fill Duggan's seat?

Answer: Because they want to install their hand-picked successor Asst. District Attorney Robert Headrick (one in Mike Flynn's office). Beyond the DA's office and a few cops he has little to no name recognition to run county-wide.

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