Haslam appoints three more to Special Supreme Court

Friday, September 21, 2012 at 4:25pm

Gov. Bill Haslam on Friday announced three new appointments to the Special Supreme Court to hear a case from which all five Tennessee Supreme Court justices have recused themselves.

The Special Supreme Court will decide an appeal of Hooker et al. v. Haslam et al., a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a state Court of Criminal Appeals appointment by Haslam.

The new special appointees are:

J. Robert Carter Jr. is a criminal court judge in Shelby County who served as an assistant district attorney general for 26 years before his election.

James R. Dedrick retired in 2010 from the U.S. Attorney’s Office where he had served since 1993 as the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee.

Monica N. Wharton serves as the chief legal counsel for the Regional Medical Center at Memphis, overseeing the risk management and legal affairs department since 2008.

Carter, Dedrick and Wharton join the two previous Special Supreme Court appointees Andrée Sophia Blumstein and W. Morris Kizer.

Blumstein and Kizer were originally appointed in July with three other appointees who recused themselves in late August.

4 Comments on this post:

By: pswindle on 9/21/12 at 6:43

Better watch out! Here Bill goes again.

By: Ask01 on 9/22/12 at 3:53

Let me be absolutely certain I have correctly understood this article.

Each Supreme Court Justice has recused themselves from hearing a particular appeal.

To facilitate the hearing of that appeal, Governor Haslam has appointed a Special Supreme Court.

The appeal in question is, to keep this short, Hooker vs Haslam.

Does anyone besides me have concerns about the governor appointing justices to hear an appeal in which he is involved, especially after everyone involved has stepped back, in effect invoking the spirit of Pontius Pilate?

I'm not schooled in law, but I cannot help but believe this will be an exercise in wasting money, as there will almost certainly be challenges about the impartiality of those appointed by someone party to the proceedings.

As ever, I take heart Tennessee will provide more fodder for comedians and late night TV hosts, keeping them employed.

By: govskeptic on 9/23/12 at 7:30

This is a very important case to all citizens of this state. Yes, John Jay
is often dismissed by the Courts that disagree with his correct
interpretations of the Tenn Constitution. He is, however, exactly right
on this one, but the system is out to show it's power and will on a
bad law that serves their interest and not the public's.

By: Ask01 on 9/23/12 at 1:02

I suppose there is an underlying reason this is called a "Special" Supreme Court.