Justice William J. Harbison served on the Tennessee Supreme Court from 1974 through 1990, and served that court as Chief Justice from 1981 to 1982 and from 1987 to 1989. During his tenure he authored numerous opinions that shaped and refined Tennessee law. The following Tribute briefly highlights some of Justice Harbison's most significant opinions.
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Justice Harbison authored a number of important opinions on new statutory schemes. The opinions provided needed guidance on and clarification of the law. For example, in Aluminum Co. of America v. Celauro, his opinion clarified the application of a 1986 statute that made sweeping changes in the law governing taxpayer remedies. He wrote Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County v. ShacklettA and Humana of Tennessee v. Tennessee Health Facilities Commission, two of the early opinions on judicial review under the Administrative Procedures Act. He also wrote Leech v. Wayne County which addressed the constitutionality of portions of Chapter 934 of the Public Acts of 1978. The 1978 Act implemented a restructure of county governments required by changes in the Tennessee Constitution.
Charles W. Burson,
William J. Harbison,
47 Vanderbilt Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.vanderbilt.edu/vlr/vol47/iss4/1