Senate Judiciary Committee approves resolution to change the way state’s Attorney General is selected


The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a resolution sponsored by Senator Mark Green (R-Clarksville), calling for the State Attorney General (AG) to be selected by the General Assembly provided voters agree.


Currently, the Tennessee Attorney General is selected by the State Supreme Court and serves until he or she resigns or are replaced by the five Justices.  The resolution, Senate Joint Resolution 196, would give citizens the opportunity to vote on changing that process to provide that the Attorney General be selected in a joint convention of the legislature to a four-year term beginning in January 2019.


“Tennessee is the only state in the nation that allows the State Supreme Court to select the attorney general and where the people have neither a direct nor indirect voice in this process,” said Senator Green.  “This legislation would allow citizens’ voices to be heard regarding the highest legal office in the state through their elected representatives.”


The state’s Secretary of State, Comptroller and Treasurer are also selected by the General Assembly.


The constitutional amendment process requires approval by both the 108th General Assembly currently in session, and the 109th, which will take office in 2015.  If approved, the question would then go to voters in a statewide referendum in the 2018 general election.