Plea Would Set Aside Retention

Knoxville attorney Herb Moncier has asked the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati to issue an injunction to stop the retention election of appeals court justices in August. The injunction request is in relation to Moncier’s suit saying one candidate on the ballot in a retention election is denying ballot access to anyone else seeking an appeals court position.

Moncier contends that the state constitution calls for election of judges and the fact that there is a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot in November to make appointments in the future means he and others have a right to access to the ballot in August.

Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed two judges to vacancies on the state Supreme Court to take office after the August election and if the three current justices are turned out he can replace them before the November election. Moncier contends that the governor will have appointed all the justices, and that they are thus not elected.

The state attorney general’s office responds that special Supreme Court panels in the past have ruled that the state’s appointing of appeals court justices is constitutional.

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