Judge rules judicial evaluation commission invalid

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A Nashville judge has ruled that the panel that evaluates Tennessee’s appellate judges is invalid because it does not have enough female members.

According to state law, the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission is supposed to have about the same percentage of women and minority members as the state’s population as a whole. But while Tennessee’s population is roughly 52 percent women and 48 percent men, the commission is made up of two women and seven men, meaning women are only about 22 percent of the panel.

Ruling from the bench on Tuesday, Davidson County Circuit Court Judge Hamilton Gayden said the under-representation of women on the panel is discriminatory. However, he declined to issue an injunction that would prevent the panel from meeting.