A plan backed by Tennessee judges that would change the ethics panel that disciplines jurists is at odds with arguably the judiciary’s biggest critic in the legislature — Sen. Mae Beavers.
The differences in opinion came out this week at a debate before the Tennessee Press Association between Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, and Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Jeff Bivins.
Beavers has long complained that the ethics board, known as the Court of the Judiciary, is dismissing too many citizen complaints against judges accused of serious misconduct.
The judges are backing legislation that would make it more difficult to dismiss a complaint against a jurist. But they still insist that the vast majority the disciplinary board be made up of judges.
The majority of members now are judges appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Court.
“I just think it looks bad when you have judges appointed by judges to judge judges,” Beavers said at the debate.
Beavers wants fewer judges on the panel and thinks they should be appointed by the speakers of the House and Senate.
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Senator Beavers and Judges at Odds Over Ethics Panel