- Associated Press - Thursday, August 14, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Newly installed state Supreme Court Justice Jeff Bivins is campaigning Thursday in favor of a ballot measure to amend the Tennessee Constitution to maintain merit selection of appeals judges.

Bivins is scheduled to speak at a Tennessee Farm Bureau event in Franklin.

Voters will decide in November on the amendment that would keep the current system of gubernatorial appointments to appeals courts, but also give the Legislature the power to reject the governor’s choices. If approved, the amendment would also keep the current retain-replace votes for appeals judges to serve a full term after they are appointed.

While the current system has withstood legal challenges, critics say it conflicts with language in the state constitution that says justices “shall be elected by the qualified voters of the state.”

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