NASHVILLE - The state House and Senate voted Monday to confirm Republican Roger A. Page to the Tennessee Supreme Court as lawmakers exercised for the first time a new process that gives them power to approve governors' appointments to appellate courts.
"This is a historic occasion this evening," Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville, told a joint convention and noted the 2014 state constitutional change and an accompanying law passed last year. "We are here to complete that process tonight for the first time."
He said that in his Senate confirmation hearing Page, 60, made it "very clear he understood the separation of powers and he understood the role of the judiciary and he understand the role of the Legislature in making laws."
Rep. John Lundberg, R-Bristol, said that in the House's hearing "we heard integrity" from Page. "We heard humility."
Pope had been serving on the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. He fills a Supreme Court vacancy left last year by the unexpected resignation of Democrat Gary Wade.
Haslam's appointment of Page wasn't official until the General Assembly acted.
Page, who is from Madison County, is Haslam's third appointment to the five-member court.
The new justice is the husband of Davidson County Chancellor Carol McCoy. He served as a circuit court judge, hearing criminal and civil cases, for Tennessee's 26th Judicial District in West Tennessee.
Earlier this session, the House and Senate tussled over how the confirmation process would occur and worked out a process in the event they disagree over a nomination. None of that was needed for Page with each body, which voted separately, unanimously voting to confirm Page.