In committee action this week, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a resolution calling for election of Tennessee’s attorney general. Senate Joint Resolution 123 would amend the state’s Constitution to allow a popular election every four years.
Tennessee is the only state in the nation that allows the State Supreme Court to select the attorney general. Forty-three states select their attorney generals through popular election. In six other states, the attorney general is selected by either the popularly elected governor or state legislature.
The amendment process would require 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 year 2018.
If passed, the resolution would be considered along with another measure approved last year to let the people vote on whether or not the attorney general should be selected in a joint convention of the legislature.