TN Judicial Discipline Report Released

Press Release from the Administrative Office of the Courts, Sept. 19, 2011:

Nashville, Tenn. – The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) has released a new report that provides a historical look at the oversight of judicial discipline in Tennessee and how it has changed in the past 40 years.

For the first time, the report compiles 20 years worth of information about judicial disciplinary complaints and how they were resolved. In that timeframe, 46 judges have left the bench—either through resignation, retirement, loss of election or death—while a disciplinary complaint was pending.

The report also details the circumstances surrounding the five judges that have been recommended for removal by the Court of the Judiciary and its predecessor, the Judicial Standards Commission, in the past 40 years. Following the recommendation for removal of these five judges, two of the judges resigned or retired, two of the judges were removed by a two-thirds majority vote of the General Assembly, and one judge later retired after the General Assembly failed to attain sufficient votes to remove him.

The report provides an overview of how the Judicial Standards Commission was created and how it later changed to become the Court of the Judiciary, the current body that reviews and investigates ethical complaints against judges.

The report is available online at www.tncourts.gov.