NASHVILLE — Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Roger Page announced Monday he plans to retire in August after serving a decade on the state's highest court.
"My service on the Supreme Court and in the judiciary has been the honor of a lifetime," Page said in a statement. "The experience has been humbling and inspiring. The Tennessee judiciary is truly a family, and I have been fortunate to walk this path with my great friends in the judiciary. I will miss all of them and treasure their friendship."
Page, 68, was appointed to the state's highest court by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam in 2014. He served as chief justice of the state's highest court from 2021 to 2023. The chief justice is chosen by fellow justices. Gov. Bill Lee will nominate Page's successor, who would then need confirmation by the General Assembly. It will be Republican Lee's third appointee to the five-member court.
Page's judicial service spans more than 25 years at the trial court, intermediate appellate and Supreme Court levels.
"Justice Page has made a huge contribution to Tennessee's justice system, first as a trial judge handling both civil and criminal cases, then on the Court of Criminal Appeals, and now on the Supreme Court, most recently as chief justice," Chief Justice Holly Kirby said in a court news release. "He is thoughtful and deliberate, and he brings wisdom and common sense to the serious issues we must decide.
Kirby said on a personal level that "I thoroughly enjoy working with him and will miss him on the court. We wish him the best in his well-deserved retirement."
As chief justice, Page helped secure funding to implement enterprise e-filing for the court system. Under the plan, court records across the state will be electronic and accessible, improving efficiency and data collection and analysis in the court system.
Page also promoted access to justice and pro bono service, encouraged greater transparency and efficiency in the judiciary with live streaming of appellate arguments and maintained good relationships among the judicial, executive and legislative branches.
Page is a Chester County native and was first named to the Court of Criminal Appeals by Haslam in 2011. He was first elected as a circuit judge for Madison, Chester and Henderson counties in 1998.
He was a pharmacist before deciding to pursue a degree from the University of Memphis law school in 1984. He is married to former Nashville Chancellor Carol McCoy. They have two sons and four grandchildren.
"I have been a pharmacist, an attorney and a judge. If I hurry, I might have time for one more career," Page quipped.
He noted there have been a lot of changes in the practice of law and the court system during his long career.
"I was extremely proud of the judiciary's response to the COVID pandemic," he said. "Every judge, court clerk and lawyer made a tremendous effort to keep the courts open and accessible. The technological advances that we gained were a big leap forward, and we need to keep building on that work."
"It has been incredibly gratifying to watch the start of an evolution across the judiciary," Page said. "I look forward to following those changes and to catching up with my judicial family in between trips I have been planning for years, watching my grandkids play sports and spending time with my wonderful wife."
Page's departure is not expected to affect the partisan makeup of the five-judge panel, which is currently all Republican. The last Democratic justice, Sharon Lee, of Knoxville, retired from the bench in August.