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Tennessee Has Its First Black Chief Justice

May 17, 1996

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Tennessee has its first ever black chief justice of the Supreme Court. Adolpho Augustus Birch Jr. was sworn in during a 30-minute ceremony on Thursday.

The chief justice position revolves among the five-member court. Birch will serve until September 1998.

Birch, 63, was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1993 by then-Gov. Ned McWherter. He was elected the next year by the people of Tennessee.

Birch was born in Washington, D.C., the son of an Episcopal priest who had immigrated from Belize in the 1920s.

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