(August 29, 2011, NASHVILLE) – Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey today announced the appointment of J. Barlett Quinn of Chattanooga to the Judicial Nominating Commission. Quinn will fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Commissioner Bill Young, who will step down on Sept. 1 to become Tennessee Solicitor General.
“The health of the judicial branch of state government is crucial to the long term health of Tennessee,” said Lt. Governor Ramsey. “Bart Quinn is an outstanding lawyer committed to an exemplary judiciary. I’m proud to appoint him and have every expectation that he will strengthen Tennessee’s judiciary.”
“Tennessee is an outstanding state which deserves outstanding judges,” said Quinn. “I’m honored that Lieutenant Governor Ramsey has allowed me to contribute to the improvement of our judiciary.”
A graduate of the University of Tennessee’s Law School, Quinn is currently with the firm of Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel. He practices primarily in the areas of employment law and workers’ compensation representing several large corporations in the defense of various employment discrimination lawsuits and other related litigation.
The Judicial Nominating Commission was created in 2009 when Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey reformed the process for selecting Tennessee’s appellate judges to provide more transparency and accountability in the judiciary. The new commission has 17 members and is responsible for making judicial nominations to state appellate courts and the state Supreme Court when vacancies arise.
Eight of the seventeen members of the commission are appointed by the Speaker of the Senate. Eight of the members are appointed by the Speaker of the House. One member is jointly appointed by the Speakers of the Senate and House. As provided by statute, each of the states’ three grand divisions must be equally represented on the commission.
The commission nominates three candidates for judicial vacancies as they occur. The governor can then appoint one of the nominees as a judge or ask for a slate of three more nominees.