Governor Bill Lee Hires Contender for Supreme Court Vacancy as his Legal Counsel


Governor Bill Lee announced on Wednesday that he will hire former federal prosecutor Jonathan Skrmetti as his chief legal counsel.

Skrmetti, who serves as the chief deputy attorney general for Tennessee, was under consideration for an open state Supreme Court vacancy.

“Jonathan is a dedicated public servant and highly qualified legal professional,” said Gov. Lee. “He will bring significant experience and tremendous value to our work on behalf of Tennesseans, and I am confident he will continue to serve our state with integrity.”

Previously, Skrmetti worked as a partner in a law firm in Memphis and as an assistant U.S. attorney. After earning his law degree from Harvard, he served as a clerk for Judge Steven Colloton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

Originally, eleven individuals applied for the vacancy created by the passing of Supreme Court Justice Cornelia A. Clark. However, following the decision from Skrmetti and Chattanooga attorney Robert Parsley, only nine applicants will be considered for the final decision:

  • William Blaylock: chief hearing officer at Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Unemployment Appeals Tribunal
  • Sarah Campbell: Associate Solicitor general and Special Assistant to the Attorney general.
  • Kristi M. Davis: Judge, Tennessee Court of Appeals
  • Timothy L. Easter: Judge, Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
  • Kelvin Jones: Circuit Court Judge.
  • W. Neal McBrayer: Judge, Tennessee Court of Appeals
  • Doug Overbey: Of Counsel, Owings, Wilson, and Coleman
  • Gingeree Smith: Smyrna attorney
  • Jeffrey Usman: Law Professor at the Belmont University College of Law

The Governor’s Council for Judicial Appointments is holding a public hearing to consider the candidates on Wednesday and Thursday. After the hearing, the council will forward three candidates to Lee for his consideration.

The new appointee will join Justices Holly Kirby, Roger Page, Jeffrey Bivens, and Sharon Lee.

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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]





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One Thought to “Governor Bill Lee Hires Contender for Supreme Court Vacancy as his Legal Counsel”

  1. 83ragtop50

    Wow!! A Harvard man. Figures that Lee would continue to surround himself by the likes of him.