Claim: Partisan Politics Affecting The Tennessee Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission

Mar 13, 2014


A member of the state’s Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission and a sitting justice on the state's high court both say partisan politics have affected the way the commission does business. The commission reviews the state’s appellate judges.

In October, the commission held a retention vote for state Supreme Court Justice Bill Koch, a Republican, which ended in a 6-3 recommendation to keep Koch on the high court.

Following that vote, commission member Chris Clem emailed state Senate Republicans, claiming that he was getting what he called pushback for voting against the recommendation and that Koch could be the most liberal member of the court.

Justice Koch also made the claim that partisan politics affected the way the commission is doing business this year. Koch announced in December he would step down this July to become dean of the Nashville School of Law and said the decision had nothing to do with Clem's email.