Ramsey Confirms ‘Confidential Plan’ to Defeat Justices

Nashville’s News Channel 5 revealed last night that it had obtained a “confidential Republican plan” that outlines a campaign to oust three members of the Tennessee Supreme Court. The plan, put together by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey's office, appears designed to remove the justices to free up seats for new Republican appointees and to increase the likelihood that a Republican attorney general is appointed, the station reports. The document suggests that the justices could be “portrayed as soft on crime and anti-business.” Ramsey also confirmed to the station that he has been presenting a slide show to business leaders to highlight what he sees as "anti-business" court decisions and to encourage them “not to sit on the sidelines." He also confirmed that he has been working with the Republican Attorneys General Association to get funding for the effort. The Tennessean carried a similar story today and questioned why Ramsey is pushing for the justices’ defeat after he worked with them to craft an amendment for the November ballot that changes how Tennessee selects appellate judges. Ramsey maintained there was no contradiction between the two efforts. Both stories included reaction from Lew Conner, a prominent Republican lawyer and former appeals court judge, who called Ramsey's document "an unwarranted, unjustified attack on the independence of the judiciary."