NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Senate Judiciary Committee voted this week to approve a consensus plan to redraw Tennessee’s judicial districts. Passage of Senate Bill 780 follows a press conference unveiling the plan earlier in the week attended by Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade, Tennessee Trial Judges Association President Chancellor Daryl Fansler, Tennessee Judicial Conference President Robert Holloway and Tennessee Bar Association President Jackie Dixon. The districts were last drawn nearly thirty years ago in 1984.
The proposed map causes minimal disruption to the current system affecting only 22 counties in 8 districts. To maximize efficiency, the number of judicial districts has been reduced from 31 to 29. Factors such as regional integrity, geographic boundaries and ease of inter-county travel were also heavily considered.
An open call for judicial redistricting proposals went out in February. Fourteen maps were submitted as well as informal input from members of the public and stakeholder groups. The current plan will be presented as Senate Bill 780/House Bill 636 and can be found online at: http://www.capitol.tn.gov/senate/judredist/judredist.html.