Tennessee Judicial "Change" Agent Janice Johnson
At the November 15, 2011 hearing in reference to the "sunset" issue Janice Johnson submitted the following:
I believe that all these bodies should remain in sunset because they are either unconstitutional or (in the case of the Court of the Judiciary) not operating as was originally intended.
Our current method of appointing judges to the Appeals Court and to the Supreme Court is unconstitutional and all current holders of those offices are in violation of the Tennessee Constitution (Article 6 Section 3 (judges elections) Article 6 Section 5 (vacancies filled)) and of the Tennessee Code 16-4-102 and 16-3-101. Consequently, it is the duty of the legislature (under Article 6 Section 6) to remove all judges sitting in violation of said provisions. (see attached code and Tennessee Constitution)
Additionally, the Judicial Nomination Commission (TCA 17-4-101) and the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission, which are part of the retention election statue (TCA 17-4-201), are accordingly unconstitutional. These provisions of the code are void under the “void ab initio” rule which makes all of their decisions of these courts unenforceable. They are a nullity according to the express holdings of both the Supreme Court of the United States and the Supreme Court of Tennessee: Norton v. Shelby County (U.S. Supreme Court ruling) and Franks v. State (Tennessee Supreme Court ruling).
Under the "void ab initio"rule, an unconstitutional act is not a law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; it affords no protection; it creates no office; it is, in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed. Norton v. Shelby County, 118 U.S. 425, 30 L. Ed. 178, 6 S. Ct. 1121 (1886). Franks v. State, 772 S.W.2d 428, 431 (Tenn. 1989)