MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Gov. Bill Lee added two new faces to Tennessee's judicial leadership Thursday, Feb. 2, appointing attorney Dwight E. Tarwater to the Tennessee Supreme Court and assistant United States Attorney Matthew Wilson to the Court of Criminal Appeals, Western Section.
Gov. Lee said Tarwater "significant experience" makes him well suited fort he role.
"His understanding of the judiciary’s appropriate role and commitment to the conservative principles of judicial restraint make him well-suited for the state’s highest court, and I am proud to appoint him to this position,” Gov. Lee said.
Tarwater's new judicial appointment fills former Justice Sharon Lee's role, who retired August 31, 2022.
According to Gov. Lee, Tarwater has 40 years of legal background, and he previously served as Chief Legal Counsel to Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.
Tarwater earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Tennessee and J.D. at the University of Tennessee College of Law.
Gov. Lee said Wilson has a background in criminal prosecution, and he has 20 years of experience in offering legal services at both state and federal levels.
“Matt’s extensive background in criminal prosecution has prepared him well to serve Tennesseans on the Court of Criminal Appeals,” Lee said. “I am confident he will bring valuable expertise to the bench, and I appreciate his service.”
Wilson earned his bachelor’s degree at Auburn University and J.D. at Florida State University College of Law.
Wilson's new judicial appointment replaces the late Judge John Everett Williams.
Both new judicial appointments await confirmation from the General Assembly.