Questions, Jockeying Abound Amid Tennessee Supreme Court Vacancy

Posted at 6:59 PM, Aug 02, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- When Gary Wade was appointed to the state Supreme Court in 2006, the self-described "mountain boy from the Smokies" planned to serve the eight-year term and retire from his distinguished judicial career.

That was before Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey decided to bankroll an effort to defeat Wade and two fellow justices appointed to the state's highest court by a Democrat. Setting retirement plans aside, Wade helped spearhead the campaign turn back Ramsey's efforts and win the three justices another term on the bench last year.

Wade recently announced he will retire next month, setting off wave of speculation about possible successors, and legal questions about how the position will be filled given a constitutional amendment approved last year giving lawmakers the power to reject the governor's nominees. 

(Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)