Tennessee Supreme Court Likely to Hold Public Application Process to Replace Attorney General Slatery

The Tennessee Supreme Court, which appoints the state attorney general, is likely to appoint a new one this year via a public application and hearing process in a similar manner to the one it used in 2014 to appoint Attorney General Herbert Slatery.

Slatery, who has been Tennessee’s attorney general since 2014, is not seeking an additional eight-year term.

The court’s application and hearing process that was conducted eight years ago yielded eight applicants, including the current attorney general.

The other finalists were: Eugene N. Bulso, Jr. of Brentwood; Robert E. Cooper, Jr. of Nashville; Mark A. Fulks of Johnson City; William N. Helou of Nashville; James Douglas Overbey of Maryville; Andrew R. Tillman of Huntsville; and William E. Young of Brentwood.

In 2014, candidates seeking the position of attorney general had to complete and submit an application and other supporting materials by a publicly specified deadline. The court then notified the eight finalists who continued on in the selection process.

Hearings were then conducted a little over a week after the application deadline.

Here’s how the court conducted the hearing process in 2014:

The Tennessee Supreme Court will conduct public hearings and interviews Sept. 8, 2014 of the eight applicants for Attorney General and Reporter.

The meetings will be held in Nashville at Legislative Plaza, Room HR16, 301 6th Ave N, Nashville, 37243 starting at 9 a.m. CDT. Each candidate is required to speak on his own behalf for no longer than 10 minutes. Candidates may have others speak on their behalf, but the total time for each candidate and speakers cannot exceed 10 minutes. Candidates are not required to have someone speak on their behalf.

The hearing also will include the opportunity for any member of the public to express their opinions about the applicants.

The public hearing will be followed by public interviews of each of the candidates by the members of the Court. Each interview is expected to last approximately 15 minutes. The Court will conduct such additional proceedings as it deems necessary on Tuesday, September 9, 2014.

It is likely that the 2022 attorney general selection process will look similar unless the court decides to change its tradition.

One observer said of the public meeting process, “Twenty minutes of public speeches, an unspecified amount of time for public comment, and then fifteen minutes for an interview with members of the court seems like insufficient amounts of time in order to properly vet the next attorney general of Tennessee.”

“What we need is a solid conservative attorney general who will vigorously defend the rights of Tennesseans against the federal government,” he added.

The Tennessee Supreme Court is expected to post a notification asking for applicants in the near future.

Prior to his appointment, Slatery served as counsel to then-Governor Bill Haslam.

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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow Aaron on GETTRTwitter, and Parler.



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6 Thoughts to “Tennessee Supreme Court Likely to Hold Public Application Process to Replace Attorney General Slatery”

  1. Dwayne Oxford

    Just one of the many TN probs that legislature is complacent about

    1. 83ragtop50

      Dwayne – You are so right. I vote for a rep and a senator to represent me in the Assembly but they ignore us little people and feather the nests of their bigwig supporters. I might as well live in a blue state.

  2. Jay

    Time to change the process

  3. 83ragtop50

    The process of appointment by the Supreme Court is a really bad process especially in light of an 8 year term. Not sure why the constitution was written this way but it is not good. I sure hope that Tennessee gets a better AG than Slatery. He has been a shipwreck.

    1. Horatio Bunce

      The Reconstruction Era re-write in 1870 was more top-down. But even since 1972 the court has been appointed rather than elected, illegally, which removed any accountability of the AG to the people. Now that Republicans proposed amending the constitution, claiming that elected judges would be corrupted by the campaign process and touting the “successful” federal version of unelected appointments, they have ensured that only those corrupted by the campaign process (themselves) do all the selecting instead of the people. Which is easier to corrupt – a selection committee or 6 million Tennesseans?

  4. John Bumpus

    There’s a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall
    And the bells in the steeple too
    And up in the nursery an absurd little bird
    Is popping out to say, “Cuckoo”
    Cuckoo, cuckoo
    Regretfully they tell us cuckoo, cuckoo
    But firmly they compel us
    To say, “Goodbye”, to you!

    So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good night
    I hate to go and leave this pretty sight!

    So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu
    Adieu, adieu, to you and you and you!

    So long, farewell, au revoir, auf wiedersehen
    I’d like to stay and taste my first champagne!

    So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye
    I leave and heave a sigh and say “Goodbye”, goodbye!

    I’m glad to go, I cannot tell a lie
    I flit, I float, I fleetly flee, I fly!

    The sun has gone to bed and so must I
    So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye
    Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye

    The ‘Good Bye Song’ from The Sound of Music! It seems appropriate to me in this instance!