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Chapter 2: Supreme Court Nominating Commission

4-2-1. There is hereby created a Nominating Commission for the Tennessee Intercollegiate Supreme Court pursuant to Article VIII of the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature Constitution, as amended by the 38th General Assembly.


4-2-2. The members of the commission shall be selected as follows:

(a) Two students appointed by the Speaker of the Senate to serve for one year;

(b) Two students appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives to serve for one year.

Members appointed under (a) and (b) shall be enrolled students at a member Institution who were delegates to the immediate past General Assembly. Each commissioner selected under (a) or (b) shall be from a different Institution than other commissioners appointed by the same officer.

Neither officers nor staff members of the Court may be appointed to the Commission during the term for which they were appointed by the Court.

4-2-3. The speakers of the Senate and the House of Representatives shall jointly appoint a fifth commissioner to be Chairman.


4-2-4. Members of the Executive Council may not be commissioners, and commissioners may not be nominated for the Supreme Court.


4-2-5. The initial meeting each year shall occur during January. Thereafter, the commission may adjourn to a specific time or at the call of its Chair. The participation of a majority of the members to which the commission is entitled shall be necessary to conduct business except that a smaller number may adjourn from time to time. The commission may conduct meetings in person or via any effective and all-inclusive means of electronic communication. All commissioners shall receive adequate notice of each meeting.


4-2-6. The Chairman shall designate a Secretary, who shall not be the same person as the Chairman. The Secretary shall keep a public record of the commission’s proceedings. If the Secretary is not otherwise a member of the commission, he/she shall be a non-voting participant.


4-2-7. At least two weeks before the General Assembly is scheduled to convene, the commission shall select seven nominees, as follows:

(a) Incumbent judges, previously recommended by the Commission and qualified under the TISL Constitution, who notify the commission that they desire reappointment; plus

(b) Non-incumbent nominees selected by the commission in a sufficient number to make a total of seven nominees.

4-2-8. All taken together, at least two nominees shall be from each Grand Division. All nominees shall be from different colleges. The commission shall attempt to select a group of qualified applicants diverse with regards to gender, ethnicity, type of college (public vs. private, university vs. community college, etc.) and expected graduation year.


4-2-9. Each nominee shall be a student in good standing at a Tennessee college or university. No person's major or minor shall disqualify them from applying for the Tennessee Intercollegiate Supreme Court. [TISL Bill 126, 42nd General Assembly, November 2011]


4-2-10. Neither the Governor nor the Speaker of either house of the Legislature may apply or be nominated.


4-2-11. The commission shall establish its own bylaws, deadlines, rules and procedures for accepting applications and shall endeavor to give widespread notice at the outset of the application process toward the goal of giving all qualified Tennessee college students a fair opportunity to apply.


4-2-12. The commission may set reasonable requirements for applicants that might include, without limitation, an application form, resume, grade point average, letter(s) of reference, essays (short or long) and/or examples of the applicant’s academic work. Personal interviews, if the commission shall choose to require or allow them, may be conducted by the full commission or by a subcommittee of the commission as long as the process is fair to all applicants.


4-2-13. The commission may organize the selection process into stages that provide for finalists, semi-finalists, etc. with a different level of examination for each.


4-2-14. Upon the conclusion of its business, the commission shall transmit to the Governor and to the Secretary of State its list of nominees, including a phone number, email address and postal address for each nominee and such other written information about each nominee as the commission shall deem appropriate.


4-2-15. The commission may, at its discretion, recommend changes or improvements to the Judicial Department, to the nominating process or in regards to any other matter the commission deems appropriate.


4-2-16. At least one week before the opening session of the General Assembly, the Governor shall appoint five judges from the seven nominees of the commission within the requirements of Article VIII and any other applicable provision of the TISL Constitution. The Chief Justice will be selected by the Court, as provided by the TISL Constitution.


4-2-17. If any provisions of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are severable.


4-2-18. This act shall be of no force or effect unless the 38th General Assembly amends Article VIII of the TISL Constitution to establish a nominating commission for the Supreme Court. [Compiler's Note: TISL Bill 1, adopted by the 38th General Assembly, established a nominating commission in the Constitution as contemplated by this section.]

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