It has been rumored for over a year that our Chief Justice would retire this year, and in fact his retirement party has been in the planning stages for some time. However, it is now official: effective September 2, 2005 we will be losing Frank Drowota as a member of our appellate court. The Chief Justice has served on either the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court for 31 years. Read his announcement here.
The new justice will be appointed by the Governor from a panel of three selected by the Appellate Court Nominating Commission. I believe that the next judge can come from either Middle or West Tennessee, although I have heard that others have a different opinion. In fact, at least one person thinks that the next justice will be selected in an election.
I will keep you updated.