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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam has named Appeals Judge Holly M. Kirby to join the state Supreme Court after Justice Janice Holder retires next year.

Kirby has served on the Court of Appeals since 1995. She was previously a partner in the Memphis law firm Burch, Porter & Johnson.

The appointment comes as Tennesseans prepare to vote next year on a proposed constitutional amendment that would keep the current system of gubernatorial appointments to appeals courts but give the Legislature the power to reject the governor's choices.

Appeals judges stand for yes-no retention votes that have resulted in only a single defeat.

While the system has withstood legal challenges, critics say it conflicts with language in the state constitution that says justices "shall be elected by the qualified voters of the state."