Record number of women judges take the bench in Nashville

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Posted at 9:56 PM, Aug 30, 2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Dozens of judges start new terms this week in Tennessee after winning their elections earlier this month. Nashville in particular will see many new faces on the bench, including a record number of women.

The Women's Political Collaborative of Tennessee held a special swearing-in ceremony for 19 women judges newly-elected or re-elected to Nashville's chancery, circuit, criminal, general sessions and juvenile courts, along with the public defender's office.

"I think it's critical that we are diverse in every way on the bench," said newly-elected judge Cindy Chappell.

"I didn't know how many women judges we were electing, and when you stood us all together, it was amazing," said re-elected juvenile court judge Sheila Calloway.

The new judges include Khadija Babb, the youngest judge ever elected in Nashville.

"To me, the biggest thing is letting young people know no matter where you come from, if you have big dreams you need to go after them because nothing is impossible," Babb said.

The ceremony took place at the Hermitage Hotel downtown. That's the same hotel where, more than a century ago, lawmakers debated in backrooms before opting to cast the deciding vote approving the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote nationwide.