The state Supreme Court has named Gov. Bill Haslam's top legal adviser, Herbert Slatery, as Tennessee's next attorney general.
The state's highest court made the appointment Monday in the aftermath of a conservative campaign to oust three Democratic justices who make up a majority on the five-member bench. Tennessee is the only state in the country where the high court names the attorney general.
Slatery was selected among a six finalists who included incumbent Bob Cooper, state Sen. Doug Overbey, courts administrator Bill Young, and private attorneys Gino Bulso of Nashville and Mark Fulks of Johnson City.
Chief Justice Sharon Lee had touted what she called a "commitment of a transparent process" for selecting the attorney general, though only the initial interviews were conducted in public.
A Tennessee Attorney General's opinion says the Volunteer State can't broadly drug test people as a condition of their receiving welfare benefits. The opinion, which was issued by the office of state Attorney General Robert Cooper, is a response to several bills that are now pending in the State Legislature.