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Gov. Bill Haslam delivers his annual State of the State address to the Tennessee Legislature on Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Nashville.

NASHVILLE — Gov. Bill Haslam said today he will interview the three nominees for a vacancy on the Tennessee Supreme Court about their legal knowledge, judicial temperament and judicial philosophy and hopes to appoint the new judge by year's end.

The Governor's Council for Judicial Appointments chose the three nominees last Tuesday, out of a field of nine applicants for the seat on the Supreme Court vacated by the September retirement of Justice Gary R. Wade, now dean of the Lincoln Memorial University law school in Knoxville. All three nominees are currently judges on the state's two intermediate appellate courts.

"Once they forward us the three names, we do background checks on everybody and then we'll have them in for interviews, which I think we'll do in the next two or three weeks — sometime between now and Thanksgiving. Hopefully we'll make a decision before the end of the year. That would be our rough schedule," the governor told reporters after a wreath-laying ceremony at the tomb of President James K. Polk on the State Capitol grounds. Polk was born Nov. 2, 1795, and Monday was the 220th anniversary of his birth.

Read more from our news partners at KnoxNews.com.

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