Craig Huey Commentary: The Tennessee Supreme Court Picked an Outstanding Attorney General

by Craig Huey


The Tennessee Supreme Court decision to appoint Jonathan Skrmetti as the attorney general was an outstanding one. In fact, it could have a powerful, transformative impact on our freedom, constitutional rights, and religious liberty.


Because Tennessee must take the lead in stopping federal overreach and abuse of power.

We evaluated all six attorney general candidates up for appointment. In evaluating the six candidates for the attorney general job, three came out as “outstanding,” our very top rating.

For over 30 years, we have evaluated judges, district attorneys and the attorney generals. These ratings are based upon an evaluation of:

  1. Their legal qualifications
  2. Whether they’re judicial activists or strict constructionists.

A judicial activist will legislate from the bench and impose their opinions upon the people. A strict constitutionalist or originalist will evaluate an issue based upon whether it’s constitutional or not.

All six candidates were evaluated. The top three in our rating were:

  • Jonathan Thomas Skrmetti
  • David Michael Dunavant
  • Jerome Cochran

Our objective, nonpartisan rating scores were:

  • Skrmetti: Judicial average of 8.84, activist construction rating of 9.2, and a qualification rating of 8.48
  • Dunavant: Judicial average of 8.20, activist construction rating of 8.79, and a qualification rating of 7.6
  • Cochran: Judicial average of 8.18, activist construction rating of 9.1 and a qualification rating of 7.25

Based upon our researched evaluation, Skrmetti, Dunavant, and Cochran were all given five stars – very rare – and our highest rating. The other candidates were not; they got four stars.

And the judge with the highest overall rating was the one selected by the Tennessee Supreme Court; a great choice.

Across America, state attorney generals are the ones standing in the gap for individual freedom, protecting constitutional rights and religious liberty, and against federal government regulations and overreach.

Never in Tennessee and American history has an attorney general position been so important.

Nineteen other states have led the way in fighting against executive overreach and abuse of power. The attorney generals of West Virginia, Missouri, and Texas for example, have taken an aggressive legal stand in fighting against Biden’s administrative state expansion.

The Tennessee attorney general should be taking the lead and being an advocate for freedom and defending the constitution.

The Tennessee attorney general should not be passive nor simply going along with some other states in standing for what’s right. Tennessee should be taking the initiative to oppose federal government overreach, and defend the liberty of Tennesseans, and all Americans, immediately.

We’re excited about the prospect of what the new attorney general can do, and Tennessee could very well take the lead in defending religious liberties, constitutional rights, and individual freedom with the new attorney general.

Justice Skrmetti is the third Tennessee attorney general in a row to have served as the governor’s legal counsel immediately prior to their appointment to the seat.

So where does Governor Lee fit into this equation?

That remains to be seen.

Starting September 1, when Justice Skrmetti assumes the attorney general role, Tennesseans will be watching closely.

Finally, what is unusual about the Tennessee Supreme Court appointment process? The attorney general in Tennessee is selected by our State Supreme Court, which is a noticeably different process and not done in any other state. The attorney general in every other state is directly elected by the people. This is something the legislature should correct.

Under outgoing Attorney General Herbert Slatery III, Tennessee’s attorney general office took an increasingly conservative stance on issues and joined coalitions of states in suing the Biden administration over the end of Title 42, or pausing the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine distribution in Tennessee, for example.

It is the hope of many in Tennessee that the state will not only continue to protect its citizens’ constitutional rights, but lead the charge in the state and across the nation in standing against government overreach – protecting civil liberties, religious liberty, and individual freedom. Under the Biden administration, our republic depends on it.

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Craig Huey is the founder of JudgeVoterGuide and TennesseeVoterGuide. He is the founder and CEO of the award-winning advertising agency Creative Direct Marketing Group and the author of several books, including The Christian Voter and The Deep State. Huey relocated from Southern California to Nashville in 2018. Among his regular media appearances, Huey can be heard on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy as a frequent guest.
Photo “Jonathan Skrmetti” by Office of the Attorney General – State of Tennessee. Background Photo “Tennessee Supreme Court” by Reading Tom. CC BY 2.0.


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2 Thoughts to “Craig Huey Commentary: The Tennessee Supreme Court Picked an Outstanding Attorney General”

  1. 83ragtop50

    I will withhold my opinion until he assumes responsibility and actually shows some leadership on important conservative state and national issues. Of course, it will not take much to show improvement over the AG leaving office at the end of this month. Having said that, the legislature must change the AG position (job?) to one elected directly by the citizens.

  2. Chris

    Thanks, Mr Huey for this incisive analysis of the applicants and the selection process