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Judge Carma Dennis McGee was publicly sworn in as a member of one of Tennessee’s highest courts Friday in Savannah at an investiture.Judge McGee, a former 24th Judicial District chancellor, was …
Judge Carma Dennis McGee was publicly sworn in as a member of one of Tennessee’s highest courts Friday in Savannah at an investiture.
Judge McGee, a former 24th Judicial District chancellor, was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Governor Bill Lee to fill the seat of former Judge Brandon Gibson. Judge Gibson stepped down from the Court earlier this year to become a senior adviser to Governor Lee.
A graduate of the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, Judge McGee worked in private practice for 15 years before she became a chancellor. She was appointed to the 24th Judicial District Chancery Court by Governor Bill Haslam in 2014 and won election to a full term on that court later that year.
Governor Lee swore in Judge McGee in the auditorium of Hardin County High School in Savannah. Numerous judges, state leaders, friends, and family were in attendance for the event.
“I am proud of who you are,” Governor Lee said during the ceremony. “I’m proud of the leadership that you have shown. I am proud of the conservative values that you hold, and I’m proud to appoint you as the next judge for the Court of Appeals in the Western Section.”
Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Roger Page, a fellow West Tennessean and longtime friend of Judge McGee, noted that Judge McGee is now the fifth woman ever to sit on the Court of Appeals.
“She has important shoes to fill,” he said. “I am thrilled to say that for the first time in the history of the Court of Appeals she is not filling the shoes of a man, but the shoes of a woman, Judge Gibson.”
Justice Page also remarked on the extensive process that Judge McGee had to go through in order to attain her new position, which is a highly sought after one. He pointed out that of the 23,000 lawyers or so in Tennessee, less than 1,000 become judges. Of those judges, only 29 sit at the appellate level.
Judge McGee was one of 14 who applied to the seat on the Court of Appeals. The Governor’s Council for Judicial Appointments chose three of those applicants to present to the governor. Out of those three, Governor Lee selected Judge McGee. Judge McGee then had to be confirmed by the Tennessee House of Representatives and the Tennessee Senate. She was confirmed unanimously, as Justice Page highlighted.
“I am confident that Judge McGee will have a long career in our appellate courts,” Justice Page said.
Some of Judge McGee’s new colleagues on the Court of Appeals were also in attendance, including Judge Kenny Armstrong, Judge Arnold B. Goldin, and Judge J. Steven Stafford. Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals Judge John Everett Williams was also there.