The Chancellor for the Davidson County Chancery Court, namely Ellen Hobbs Lyle, has announced her decision to not seek election again next year. After having been involved in many controversial cases over the years, Lyle would step down.
Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist appointed Lyle to the Davison County bench for the first time in 1995, before her election to the position as a Democratic Party member.
Lyle has occasionally ruled for the GOP-led state administration when she stayed part of the bench. Anyhow, she has triggered anger among Tennessee GOPs when she ruled to necessitate the state to make a mail-in ballot allowance for every voter during the pandemic.
When the Tennessee State Legislature convened again this year, some GOPs looked to rid Lyle of her elected position. It was a failed effort that caused outrage among Tennessee’s business and legal communities. Anyhow, the Legislature moved otherwise to partly limit the Davidson County court’s power. For your information, the court has traditionally dealt with initial contemplation of lawsuits that challenged state statutes.
Lyle informed the Nashville Bar Association of her decision last year, and she told that choice to her staff back then. Anyhow, she encountered the effort to have her removed from the position this year.
Lyle wrote that she never thought she would have had to hold onto her job when she made that announcement last year. She also stated that life had always been unpredictable for her, and that this has been an as-expected year. She stated that the anticipation and excitement about the future counterbalance the process of leaving close associations at the courthouse.
Lyle practiced law with a Houston-based firm, then she worked for a long time with Nashville’s Trabue, Sturdivant & Dewitt, and joined the court.
In her tenure at the court, she did the following.
- Supervised a business court pilot program with the help of the Tennessee State Supreme Court
- Ruled on legal cases associated with Tennessee’s death sentence protocol, government records disputes, the art collection at Fisk University, and an attempt to overhaul the city’s tax policy.
When announcing her choice to not seek next year’s election, she thanked court staff, Metro leaders, fellow judges and other people, including her senior lawyers. Lyle also plans to use her final year at the court to work on numerous cases with trials that have long been pending due to the pandemic.