Justice Clark First Active Member Of Judiciary To Lie In State

September 28, 2021

Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Connie Clark, who passed away on September 24 after a short battle with cancer, will lie in state at the Tennessee State Capitol on Wednesday, September 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. See related story on Justice Clark’s legacy, which includes public comments.

Lying in state is traditionally an honor provided to a state’s most distinguished public officials. Justice Clark served on the Supreme Court since 2005 and was a member of the judicial branch for over 30 years. She will be the first active member of the judiciary to lie in state at the Tennessee State Capitol and the second woman. Earlier this year, Tennessee State Senator Thelma Harper, the first Black woman to serve in the Tennessee Senate, was the first woman to lie in state at the Tennessee State Capitol. In 2020, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the first woman to lie in state at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. According to the best research available, Justice Clark is only the third Tennessean to lie in state at the State Capitol in the past 88 years.

“We thank the General Assembly and Governor for providing Justice Clark with this honor,” Chief Justice Roger A. Page said. “Justice Clark served the people of Tennessee for over 30 years — as a justice, as a trial judge, and as the administrative director of the court system. She was the ultimate public servant, working with more than 75 organizations dedicated to improving the courts and providing access to justice as well as those focused on her beloved hometown of Franklin. She was a mentor to dozens of the state’s judges and top attorneys. She truly touched every corner of our judicial system.”

The family has also announced the following arrangements:

  • Thursday, September 30.  Visitation will be at the First United Methodist Church in Franklin from 2 to 7 p.m.
  • Friday, October 1. Visitation will be from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Franklin. The funeral will take place at the church at noon. The funeral is expected to be livestreamed from the church’s website. The burial will be private.

The First United Methodist Church is located at 120 Aldersgate Way, Franklin. Justice Clark was a lifelong member of the church and served as lay leader and member of the finance committee, the Trustees, and the staff parish relations committee.