Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery Opposes Ballot Measure to Attorney General Confirmation from State Lawmakers


When speaking to the Nashville Rotary Club on Monday, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery announced his opposition to a measure that would require the attorney general’s confirmation to be approved by state lawmakers.

Arguing the potential requirement would turn the office into a “political office,” Slatery continued to support the appointment process by the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Currently, Slatery’s position is determined by an eight-year appointment by the state’s highest court and is not subject to confirmation by the executive or legislative branches.

“Legislators will then be lobbied and the Supreme Court would have to say, ‘Instead of the top lawyer, we’ve got to be sure, we’ve got to get somebody who can actually be confirmed, that the legislators will like,’” Slatery told Nashville’s Rotary Club, noted by the Associated Press. “That just throws everything backwards, in my opinion.”

Earlier this year, the Tennessee State Senate passed Senate Joint Resolution 1, which will require a confirmation vote of the majority of both the House and the Senate in order to confirm the nominee.

Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Ken Yager (R-Kingston) argued the new process will give voters a more transparent view of the process.

“It would further require a confirmation of that nomination by the General Assembly. This retains an important role for the court in the selection process, while providing an oversight role to the General Assembly through the confirmation process. It is consistent with the intentions of the authors of our State Constitution who wanted officials directly elected by the people to have a role in the appointment,” Yager said.

The proposed constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds House vote for placement on the ballot and a majority of votes cast in the gubernatorial election.

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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Herbert Slatery” by tn.gov.






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8 Thoughts to “Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery Opposes Ballot Measure to Attorney General Confirmation from State Lawmakers”

  1. lbprouddeplorable

    He’s wrong. Appointed important positions by liberal and ultraliberal Judges is already a failure.
    The Leg answers to US–the PEOPLE so they need a voice in this which is actually our voice

  2. Chris

    Herbert is certainly correct in opposing this unabashed legislative over-reach.

    But TN should join the other 40 or so states which elect their attorneys general.

  3. Cannoneer2

    Again, why is Slatery the nation’s highest paid Attorney General??

    1. 83ragtop50

      Good question. Is surely is not because of the his high caliber of work.

  4. Rose

    I think the legislature has more things to worry about than to change the way our Attorney General is placed in office. We’ve had many good Attorney’s General placed in office under the current guidelines. The old saying “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” applies here.

    1. 83ragtop50

      Rose – And why do you believe that changing the AG selection process would necessarily lead to poor AG’s? I do not see how they could be much worse than Slatery.

      Frankly, I believe that the AG should be elected by the citizens to a no more than 4 year term with term limits of no more than 8 years.

  5. Kevin

    Yeah Herb, let’s leave the mice in charge of cheese production too!

    God forbid that we embrace and follow the concept of checks and balances given to us by our Founding Fathers, something that they knew was needed to help assure the successful longevity of a democratic Republic!

  6. John Bumpus

    Slatery’s position is wrong. Of course, each house of the Tennessee General Assembly should have a voice in the appointment of the Tennessee Attorney General. The Office of the Tennessee Attorney General is about as political as it gets. The people of the State, acting through their elected representatives, should have a meaningful say in who becomes Tennessee’s Attorney General.