Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood's ruling Thursday that the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency "has engaged in judge shopping" in General Sessions Court here, apparently for years, is well founded and troubling. It suggests that the practice, involving more than 1,600 TWRA cases from 2004 through 2008 that were adjudicated by just two of the five Sessions Court judges, was flatly deliberate and, worse, that it was widely tolerated until it was finally forced onto the court agenda last fall by attorney Jerry Summers.
The broad pattern of judge-shopping to which he referred should never have occurred. It is unethical and taints the court. That it evidently became a deeply entrenched pattern should have been recognized and remedied by a range of people involved with the court.