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Officials: Timing Of Vote On Supreme Court Justice Unclear

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Posted at 8:25 AM, Jul 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-07 08:40:43-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A new judicial amendment to the state constitution has left an open question about when voters will get a chance to decide on a new Supreme Court justice.

Justice Gary Wade is retiring from the Tennessee Supreme Court in September, just one year into an eight-year judicial term.

Wade's retirement gives Gov. Bill Haslam a chance to name a Republican successor, giving the court a Republican majority. But the governor's office said it is unclear when the public will vote on whether to retain or replace that new judge. It could be in 2016 or not until 2022.

In the past, an appointee could serve no more than two years before a direct public vote. But language in the amendment ratified last November is vague.

(Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)