Tenn. Justices pick next Chief

John O'Brien May 5, 2008, 3:29pm

Standing left to right: Justices Gary R. Wade, Janice M. Holder, Cornelia A. Clark, and William C. Koch, Jr.; seated is Chief Justice William Barker

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Legal Newsline) - The Tennessee Supreme Court's next chief justice will also be the first woman to hold that post.

Justice Janice Holder reportedly has been voted as the successor to current chief justice William Barker, who recently announced that he will resign Sept. 1.

Fellow Justice Gary Wade told the Chattanooga Times Free Press the result of the vote among the justices. Barker had served as chief justice since 2005.

Holder was born in Pennsylvania and received her law degree from Duquesne University School of Law in 1975. Since her appointment to the Supreme Court in 1996, she has been re-elected twice.

Gov. Phil Bredesen still will have to appoint another judge to fill out the five-member court. The last time he had to do that, William Koch was eventually named after months of controversy.

Included in the conflict were allegations that Bredesen violated the state's Human Rights Act by demanding a minority be one of the three applicants approved by the state's Judicial Selection Commission.

The JSC must again approve three candidates from whom Bredesen will select. The deadline for submission of applications is Friday.

More News