Latest Tennessee Supreme Court News

Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson, speaks to members of the Senate and House Elections Committees during a joint hearing at the Mississippi State Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, June 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Mississippi justices: No broad absentee voting amid COVID-19

Sep. 18, 2020 6:27 PM EDT

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi law does not allow absentee voting by all people who have health conditions that might make them vulnerable to COVID-19, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday. A majority of justices reversed a Sept. 2 decision by Hinds County Chancery Judge Denise Owens, saying she too...

1st Tennessee attorney permanently disbarred under new rule

Sep. 11, 2020 5:20 AM EDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court on Thursday disbarred a Dickson County attorney under new rules that prevent him from ever practicing law in Tennessee again. Jackie Garton was convicted of stealing more than $1 million from a trust belonging to the 14-year-old daughter of a Tennessee...

A poll worker pushes a container of sanitized pens to a voter to be used in voting Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in Brentwood, Tenn. The state is encouraging voters to wear masks and follow social distancing protocols at the polls. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Judge orders Tennessee to mention virus on mail voting form

Aug. 26, 2020 2:18 PM EDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A judge has ordered Tennessee election officials to clearly communicate on absentee ballot applications that people can vote by mail if they believe they or someone in their care face a higher risk of COVID-19. State officials promised the Tennessee Supreme Court this month that...

This photo provided by attorney Kelley Henry shows Pervis Payne. A district attorney in Tennessee said Thursday, July 30, 2020 that she is fighting a request by the inmate facing execution in December to have a judge order DNA testing of evidence in his case. Shelby County district attorney Amy Weirich said a bag of evidence reviewed by Payne's lawyers in an evidence property room last year came from a different case that has nothing to do with the 1987 stabbings of a woman and her daughter for which Payne was convicted and sentenced to death. (Kelley Henry via AP)

Condemned Tennessee inmate pushes for DNA tests in his case

Aug. 7, 2020 3:55 PM EDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee inmate scheduled to be executed in December continued to push Friday for DNA testing of the evidence in his case, arguing that would exonerate him. Pervis Payne, 53, has always maintained his innocence in the 1987 stabbing deaths of Charisse Christopher and her...

Justices overturn Tennessee mail vote expansion for November

Aug. 5, 2020 9:34 PM EDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned the option for all eligible voters to vote by mail in November due to COVID-19. The ruling nixes a June expansion order by a lower court that state election officials opposed. The decision came the day voters could start requesting...

Tennessee mail ballot requests for November start Wednesday

Aug. 5, 2020 3:22 AM EDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee voters can begin requesting absentee ballots for the November election Wednesday. In June, a judge ordered that all eligible Tennessee voters would have the option to vote by mail during the coronavirus pandemic. The ruling remains effective, but that could change. The...

Plan seeks to reduce racial disparities in Tennessee courts

Jul. 31, 2020 1:13 PM EDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has released a plan to reduce racial disparities in the state's judicial system. The court’s Access to Justice Commission released a two-year plan Thursday to reduce discrimination and racial disparities, WPLN reported. The commission has been...

This photo provided by attorney Kelley Henry shows Pervis Payne. A district attorney in Tennessee said Thursday, July 30, 2020 that she is fighting a request by the inmate facing execution in December to have a judge order DNA testing of evidence in his case. Shelby County district attorney Amy Weirich said a bag of evidence reviewed by Payne's lawyers in an evidence property room last year came from a different case that has nothing to do with the 1987 stabbings of a woman and her daughter for which Payne was convicted and sentenced to death. (Kelley Henry via AP)

Prosecutor fights death row inmate's DNA testing request

Jul. 30, 2020 6:46 PM EDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A district attorney in Tennessee said Thursday that she is fighting a death row inmate's request to have a judge order DNA testing of evidence in his case. Shelby County district attorney Amy Weirich said a bag of evidence reviewed by Pervis Payne's lawyers in an evidence property...

Tennessee newly backs mail vote option for COVID risk group

Jul. 30, 2020 4:43 PM EDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee officials are prepared to offer absentee ballots to voters who have health conditions or live with someone at risk for COVID-19, even if Tennessee's Supreme Court strikes down expanded mail voting in pandemic times, a state attorney said Thursday. Janet Kleinfelter of the...