Kingsport native Jeff Bivins has been tapped to fill an upcoming vacancy on Tennessee's highest court. Governor Bill Haslam made the announcement Thursday.
Bivins is slated to succeed Justice Bill Koch, who plans to step down in July to become the next dean of the Nashville School of Law. Koch has been on the state Supreme Court since 2007, and has taught at the law school for the past 14 years.
“I am deeply honored to accept Gov. Haslam’s appointment to the Tennessee Supreme Court,” Bivins said in a statement. “I have thoroughly enjoyed serving as a trial court judge and as a judge on the Court of Criminal Appeals. I now will work tirelessly to become an excellent Supreme Court justice.”
For the last last three years, Bivins has served on the state Criminal Court of Appeals. His appointment is the second Governor Haslam has made to the state Supreme Court since taking office in 2011. His first appointee, Appeals Judge Holly Kirby, is expected to fill the seat to be vacated by Justice Janice Holder when she leaves in August. Holder is currently the longest-serving among the five justices that make up the Tennessee Supreme Court, having taken office in 1996.